Oct 4, 2018

By the numbers: Michigan's $5 billion fundraiser highlights education inequities

University of Michigan campus. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The University of Michigan raised $5 billion in private funding over 5 years through a campaign to further finance the university, writes Douglas Belkin of The Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Michigan's ability to raise billions of dollars from donors' private funds highlights an imbalance in the playing field for most universities. Only private universities and big-name public schools have the funds available to employ this strategy. Smaller, regional public schools tend to be left behind.

By the numbers

The country's flagship universities benefit the most from donors. Most of the money comes from a few wealthy donors with the top 1% of donors giving 79% of funds to universities in 2015. That number was just 64% in 2006.

  • The concentration of donor wealth is similar to the concentration of the recipients, Belkin writes.
  • "You have public research universities launching multibillion-dollar campaigns and in the same state you’ll have small schools that have never had a fundraising campaign," Dr. Kevin McClure, an assistant professor on higher education at UNC, told Belkin.

This isn't a new phenomenon, Belkin writes. "Fundraising was baked into the business model of most private colleges and universities more than a century ago," but after the recession.

Michigan continues a trend that developed over the last few decades with universities reaching into the pockets of their alumni and they aren't the only school that has adopted this strategy.

Be smart: The only options for struggling universities are to either raise tuition or wait on state funding to save them, but public education funding hasn't been raised in years.

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Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

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Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.