These colleges have the highest rates of alumni donations. The top 15 may surprise you

While Ivy League schools and their Ivy Plus relatives are known for their multimillionaire alumni and seemingly bottomless endowments, only two Ivies and three Ivy Plus institutions made the list.

Colleges are always looking for new ways to increase their alumni’s enthusiasm to give back in a variety of different ways. But at the end of the day, cash is king, and institutions are always ready to accept monetary gifts that can potentially help increase the student experience.

Among the 15 colleges in the nation U.S. News & World Report found with the highest number of alumni opting to donate, the average donation rate tripled the national average. In the 2022-23 academic year, around 30% of these schools’ alumni contributed, compared to the typical 8%.

While Ivy League schools and their Ivy Plus relatives are known for their multimillionaire alumni and seemingly bottomless endowments, only two Ivies and three Ivy Plus institutions made this list. Universities such as Mount Holyoke College (Mass.) and Trinity College (Conn.) boast a more generous alumni base, even if those contributions are not as gratuitous.

It can be challenging to conjure big bucks from any alumni. Among the 1,100 alumni surveyed by Hanover Research in its 2022 report on alumni giving, nearly a quarter of respondents had donated less than $100, and only 3% of one-time donations were made up of $10,000 or more. Alumni willing to donate usually earn $150,000+, and those who do not donate usually cite financial constraints or their donations to other causes.

U.S. News collected donation data from over 300 colleges and universities it ranked across its National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges annual survey. It only considered those with at least 25,000 legally contactable alumni.


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Which institutions had the most alumni willing to give?

Colleges and universities located in Mass. comprised the most here, with four. Schools in Indiana, Minnesota and Texas are the only ones not located on the East Coast.

Princeton University had the highest rate of alumni willing to donate; around 46% to 47% of undergraduate alumni donated nearly $74 million this past year. Additionally, 13 of the institutions, save the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York and Virginia Tech, are private.

  1. Princeton (N.J.): 46%
  2. Dartmouth University (N.H.): 36%
  3. College of the Holy Cross (Mass.): 35%
  4. United States Military Academy at West Point (N.Y.): 34%
  5. University of Notre Dame (Ind.): 33%
  6. Carleton College (Minn.): 32%
  7. Middlebury College (Vt.): 29%
  8. Duke University (N.C.): 28%
  9. Mount Holyoke College (Mass.): 28%
  10. Colgate University (N.Y.): 25%
  11. Wellesley College (Mass.): 25%
  12. Rice Univerity (Texas): 24%
  13. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 23%
  14. Trinity College (Conn.): 23%
  15. Virginia Tech: 22%
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and first-generation journalism graduate from the University of Florida. His beats have ranged from Gainesville's city development, music scene and regional little league sports divisions. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador and Brazil.

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