The bill, drafted by Rep. Tom Reed, R-New York, would require universities with endowments larger than $1 billion, such as UNC-Chapel Hill, to use 25 percent of their annual returns on endowment investments to reduce tuition costs for students from families below the federal poverty level.
“Congress is trying to signal that they are concerned about higher costs and want universities to do more to lower these costs,” said Shirley Ort, associate provost and director of scholarships and student aid for UNC.
BY THE NUMBERS
in funding for scholarships provided by UNC-CH’s endowment
percent of students at UNC who receive financial aid
percent of undergraduate aid given in grants and scholarships
An endowment fund is created when a donor gives money to a university to be invested, and the money generated by the investment is spent on programs specified by the donor — such as scholarships, fellowships, library acquisitions, faculty research and undergraduate advising.
Eric Johnson, spokesperson for the UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, said the bill targets schools with large endowments and less-generous financial aid policies than UNC.