What Purpose College?

Harvard and Yale, America’s oldest colleges, were founded by religious zealots as “Schools of the Prophets” for the purpose of empowering students to help the populace live in accord with truth, or, in other words, God’s will. Hence the “Veritas” in the mottos of both colleges. But Harvard and Yale, along with other prominent colleges, have become Schools of the Profits. Harvard’s endowment is $30 billion. Yale’s is $20 billion. For comparison, the annual budget for the State of Connecticut is $21 billion, and 108 nations report a gross domestic product less than $20 billion. Both college endowments grow at more than 10% per year, but neither college pays tax on its endowment or educational property. Colleges are tax-exempt because higher education is assumed to be a public service. Is it?


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