The Associated Press collected and analyzed thousands of pieces of data on the 47 colleges, universities and university systems with endowments of $1 billion or more.
Most figures were taken from the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Figures from IPEDS included data on enrollments, race, graduation rates, applications, scholarship spending and distribution. The AP compared figures from 2004 to those from 1994 where available, but also 2003 to 1993 and 2002 to 1992 in categories where those numbers were the most recent.
The endowment values and the list of billionaire schools in 2004 and 1994 came from annual reports by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). Annual fundraising figures came from the latest survey by the Council for Aid to Education.
Additional data on financial aid came from material collected by the Peterson’s and Princeton Review college guides and was used with their permission. National college cost figures were drawn from a report by the College Board. Presidential salary information came from the schools themselves and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Faculty salary information came from the Chronicle and IPEDS.
Indiana University, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Texas A&M and the universities of Texas, California, Minnesota and Pittsburgh all told the AP their endowment figure covers their flagship and branch campuses. In those instances, the AP ran a separate analysis of the branch campuses and the flagship public campuses.
The University of California endowment covers a number of campuses, and some UC schools have additional endowments that were not included in the AP analysis. The AP treated the UC endowment as covering the entire system.
Rockefeller University in New York does not have undergraduates and was not included in the analysis of any relevant categories.