NAICU Washington Update

Congress Launches Endowment Inquiry

February 27, 2016

The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), is taking the lead on an endowment inquiry sent to 56 private colleges and universities with endowments over $1 billion.

The letter of inquiry has roughly 13 questions on endowment spending, restrictions, and investments. Some questions have multiple parts. The committees request that completed responses be returned by April 1, 2016. Committee Members and staff are hoping to learn how private, nonprofit colleges and universities are using their endowments to fulfill their charitable and educational purposes.

Ways and Means Full Committee Chairman, Kevin Brady, (R-TX), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), also signed the letters of inquiry.

This effort resembles the endowment survey from January 2008 that was initiated by then-Senate Finance Ranking Minority Member Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). The 2008 survey went out to 136 public and private institutions with endowments over $1 billion. This most recent survey, however, was sent to private colleges only.