The Truth Behind That Alumni Gift

“What’s altruistic about giving more money to a wealthy institution of higher education? Harvard’s endowment is nearly $30 billion. Yet alumni and others gave the institution $595 million in 2006, which amounts to a fifth of its annual budget. Why do alumni give? The cynics will like the answer provided by a new study by Jonathan Meer of Stanford and Harvey S. Rosen of Princeton. It offers persuasive evidence that some alumni give to their schools in the hope of raising the chance of admission for their children.”