Universities Getting the Most Government Money
5. University of Pittsburgh
> Total federal R&D grant money: $662 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 73.7%
> 2012 endowment: $2.62 billion
The University of Pittsburgh was the fifth largest recipient of federal funding from HHS, which accounted for nearly $576 million of the roughly $662 million it received in federal funds in fiscal 2011. The school also subsidized much of its research by spending more than $196 million of its own funds in 2011. Only three other schools, the University of Michigan, the University of Florida and the University of Wisconsin, spent more of their own funds on research and development.
4. University of Pennsylvania
> Total federal R&D grant money: $707 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 79.8%
> 2012 endowment: $6.75 billion
As much as 80% of the University of Pennsylvania’s research funding came from the federal government — with the majority of that funding from HHS. Right before sequestration took effect, Penn reported that it expected to lose anywhere between $34 million and $42 million in research funds, with funds from the National Institute of Health — a part of HHS — expected to take a disproportionate hit. The university used just over $52 million of its own funds to pay for research and development in 2011, lower than any other university on this list.
3. University of Michigan
> Total federal R&D grant money: $820 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 64.1%
> 2012 endowment: $7.69 billion
While 64% of the University of Michigan’s R&D budget came from the federal government, the university spent a nation-high $363 million from its own money to finance research and development. The university also attracted attention when alumnus Charles Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, recently pledged $110 million. The majority of the money will be used to construct a new graduate student resident hall, but $10 million will be used to fund fellowships across the university’s 19 different colleges and schools.
2. University of Washington, Seattle
> Total federal R&D grant money: $949 million
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 82.9%
> 2012 endowment: $2.11 billion
The University of Washington in Seattle acts as the primary public medical school for Washington, Alaska, Idaho Montana and Wyoming by offering subsidies to students from those other states. This is likely a reason the federal government gives them a lot of money. Although the majority of the money came from HHS, the university was the top recipient of money from the National Science Foundation, receiving more than $145 million in 2011. Researchers at the university said the institution could face $83 million in budget cuts due to the sequester. Among the concerns expressed are that entire labs could shut down and that employees whose money is tied to federal grants could lose their jobs.
1. Johns Hopkins University
> Total federal R&D grant money: $1.88 billion
> Pct. R&D spending from government: 87.8%
> 2012 endowment: $2.59 billion
No college received more money from the federal government than Johns Hopkins University, which raked in nearly $1.9 billion in 2011. Unlike the other universities on this list, money from HHS did not constitute the majority of funding. More than $609 million came from the Department of Defense, while more than $202 million came from NASA. The reason for this is that one division of the university, the Applied Physics Laboratory, employs thousands of engineers and scientists primarily in support of defense programs. The university also has managed to rake in billions from fundraising as well. Billionaire New York mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged $350 million to the university to expand research for issues such as global health and, as part of the total pledge, will provide $100 million for need-based scholarships for undergraduate students as well. He is the first person to give more than $1 billion to a single university over a lifetime.