INFOGRAPHIC: How Do Universities Spend Their Money?

If you had billions of dollars to burn, how would you spend it?

That’s just what the US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) asked 99.8% of Title IV public and private universities. Below, we’ve taken notes on the breakdown of those dollars spent in 2009–click through our notebook page by page to see how $358,040,121,000 were allocated across those institutions.

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There Are 12 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Bill G. says:

    Can you explain how the numbers are calculated? If you just add them up straight, looks like private universities spent about twice as much as they took in, while public had about $30B left over after these expenses. What’s missing?

  2. Scott G. says:

    Table 5 — http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011230.pdf; also, see http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter to perform your own calculations with the data that went into this infographic.

  3. Baklazhan says:

    Okay, so I spent some time looking at those figures for some stupid reason, and the elephant in the room is investment losses. They’re fairly negligible for public universities (they made $218b and lost $9b) but huge for private universities: they made $132.8b and lost $64.2b.

    In terms of the “infographic”, most of the figures aren’t affected, since they deal with spending, but the “% came from tuition and fees” would be closer to 40% for private universities in an “ordinary year” (ie one in which they don’t lose half their revenue).

    It’s also a bit silly to have per-student figures for research and hospitals. These are other functions of universities which don’t (primarily) involve education.

  4. Darin says:

    Is this private for profit or private non profit?

  5. Ziarre says:

    AFAIC that’s the best anwser so far!

  6. Looks to me like it’s the same old story. Like the politics, religion, the housing market, etc., it does not seem to add up at the end of the day because in the end it’s a business, somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. Seems to me the students are on the losing end right now. For all they are putting in, what they are getting out just does not seem to add up. Welcome to the world, that’ll be $9,416.06 please. And don’t forget to say thank you!

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