Ninth-richest: Northwestern University
Endowment funds last year: $7.2 billion
Change from previous year: 20.8%
Students last fall: 20,284
Undergraduate tuition: $40,223 for tuition, room and board

With most of its operations concentrated in Evanston, Ill., Northwestern University's undergraduate and graduate degrees are top-notch, with the law and medical schools cranking out well-paid professionals who give back to the school generously.

Regular distributions from the university's ninth-largest endowment account for 17% of the annual budget, most of which goes to new building construction (44% of endowment funds in 2009) and renovation projects (42% of 2009 funds) on existing sports and academic facilities.

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