Canada’s big universities ranked by endowment

How much money has your school saved?

by Josh Dehaas

McGill student courtesy of Evan Shay on Flickr

McGill student courtesy of Evan Shay on Flickr

Schools use their endowments to build things, for research, to fund bursaries — in short, the more money a school has saved up, the more it can spend on its current students. The size of an endowment reflects the age of the school: older ones have had more time to woo donations. But age aside, they reflect how much students care about their alma mater, because that’s where most of the money comes from. Here are Canada’s 20 biggest schools, ranked by endowment per student.
1. McGill
$808-million (March 2010) pop. 27,971
Per student: $28,869
2. Queen’s
$528-million (Apr. 2010) pop. 18,733
Per student: $28,189
3. British Columbia
$1,008-million (Dec. 2010) pop. 38,052
Per student: $26,490
4. Toronto (not including colleges’ endowments)
$1,757-million (Dec. 2010)  pop. 68,585
Per student: $25,617
5. Alberta
$718-million (March 2010) pop. 34,240
Per student: $20,969
6. McMaster
$461-million (Apr. 2010) pop. 23,312
Per student: $19,775
7. Calgary
$441-million (March 2010) pop. 26,297
Per student: $16,769
8. Manitoba
$301-million (March. 2010) pop.21,724
Per student: $13,855
9. Carleton
$215-million (Apr. 2010) pop. 19,874
Per student: $10,818
10. Guelph
$189-million (Apr. 2010) pop. 22,045
Per student: $8,573
11. York
$294-million (Dec. 2010) pop. 43.693
Per student: $6,728
12. Waterloo
$191-million, (Apr. 2010) pop. 28,837
Per student: $6,623
13. Ottawa
$165-million (Apr. 2010) pop. 30,826
Per student: $5,352
14. Concordia
$111-million (May 2010)  pop. 21,885
Per student: $5,071
15. Western
$153-million (Apr. 2010) pop. 31,126
Per student: $4,915
16. Ryerson
$86-million (Apr. 2010) pop. 19,681
Per student: $4,369
17. Montreal
$128-million (June 2009) pop. 41,194
Per student: $3,107
Information for Laval, Athabasca and UQAM was not available.


Canada’s big universities ranked by endowment

  1. I would think that Maclean’s could get more recent endowment figures than March, 2010.

  2. Marois’ comment indicates he did not go to college, so why should he be concerned?

  3. Dalhousie? Maclean’s missed a G13 school? Is ANY of this data accurate?

    • This post lists the endowments of Canada’s 20 largest schools by population. Dalhousie is not in the top 20 largest.

      • Yes it is. And I’m quite certain it’s in the top 10. I received an email stating they’ve raised $180 million so far in their current fundraising drive. And I know their endowment was north of $300M just a couple of years ago. And over $20K per student. That’s why I’m less than impressed with Maclean’s journalism, here.

        • There is no error in the post. This post refers to the Top 20 biggest schools in Canada, ranked by endowment. It does not refer to the top 20 biggest endowments in Canada, which may well be different. Dalhousie, with a population of 17,000, is not in the Top 20 biggest schools.

  4. Since every single school listed here has a bigger population than Dalhousie, perhaps you can explain to me how it could have a larger total endowment than some of the listed schools, yet fail to make it onto this list (to follow your logic). Or perhaps you can just tell me what Dalhousie’s per student endowment is, since you MUST have calculated it? To put the debate to rest?

  5. I’ve suddenly clued in to how you’re presenting the list, and so I now understand MY mistake. Only the 20 largest by population, and population ONLY. The wording of the article does not make this particularly clear (or perhaps my expectations obscured this from me). Even just modifying the last line of the first paragraph to say “… biggest schools (by student population)…” would help to clear that up. Nevertheless, Mea Culpa.

    That being said, presenting the data in the way it is shown here makes no real sense at all. The wealthiest by total endowment is useful. The wealthiest per student is useful. A list of the wealth of schools where the only criteria for inclusion on the list is size is not useful. Why wouldn’t you just do the top 20 overall endowments per student? Or do a list of ALL of the schools ranked by Maclean’s? The list as presented is misleading. I’ve never seen information like this presented in such a way, and I fail to see how it’s useful as anything other than a fact dump.

    Perhaps I’ve become too accustomed to the way endowment data is presented in the US (where the figures are much larger). Or perhaps I’ve become accustomed to every list in the university section of Maclean’s being a ranking. Whatever the case may be, my apologies to the author for misreading the original post. But that doesn’t change my opinion that the post could be edited to be genuinely more useful.

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