GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A recent study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers has found that college and university endowments around Michigan saw strong growth in the previous fiscal year, according to

“The main factor is that the financial markets in general for that 12 month period had very strong returns,” Brian Copeland, associate vice president for business and finance at GVSU, told

Central Michigan University saw the largest percentage increase at 27.9 percent. reports that the University of Michigan, at $7.8 billion, has the largest overall endowment in the state.

According to, schools use their endowments to offer scholarships, endow faculty positions, and fund various student programs.

“Without endowments you rely more heavily on tuition, room and board for expenses,” Tom Bylsma, Hope College’s vice president for business and CFO told “We’re trying to make higher education as affordable as possible. Endowments help.”

SOURCE:, “Growing investments: Endowments on the rise at West Michigan colleges and universities,” Feb. 21, 2012


Michigan Education Report, “Michigan public universities have $4.2 billion in unrestricted assets,” Jan. 18, 2012