Sixth-richest: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Endowment funds last year: $9.7 billion
Change from previous year: 16.8%
Students last fall: 10,894
Undergraduate tuition: $40,460 for tuition only for the 2011-12 academic year
Not surprisingly, MIT's leadership in the field of technology and scientific innovation helps account for the considerable size of its endowment, as many students and faculty projects find lucrative commercial applications. Money flows back into the school's nearly $10 billion endowment, a portion of which goes to the university's annual expenditures -- approximately 75% of which go to instruction and specific research projects. It's a (not) vicious cycle that keeps the school well in the top 10 of the country's richest universities.