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USC places among top institutions in fundraising — for four years running

Council for Aid to Education survey shows USC third behind Harvard, Stanford as the Campaign for USC continues its momentum

Tommy Trojan at sunset
Tommy Trojan stands guard on the USC University Park Campus. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

It’s becoming a familiar pattern: USC has again ranked among the nation’s three most successful universities for fundraising, according to the Council for Aid to Education (CAE).

USC finished off 2016 with the third-highest fundraising total among U.S. academic institutions, trailing only Harvard and Stanford universities. With the release of CAE’s annual college fundraising report Feb. 8, USC logs its fourth straight year in the survey’s big three.

The report lists USC as raising nearly $667 million in cash in 2016, six years into the ambitious Campaign for USC. Overall, USC raised more than $1 billion in gifts and new pledges last year.

“USC’s fundraising momentum keeps building, confirming how much our community of supporters believe in the exciting growth at the university,” said Albert R. Checcio, USC’s senior vice president for university advancement. “The stellar faculty, challenging academic environment and opportunities for students, outstanding research and biomedical advances are combining to make USC a compelling investment as one of the nation’s elite institutions.”

Across the nation, giving to universities kept about pace with inflation in 2016. U.S. colleges and universities reached a record $41 billion in donations — a modest gain of 1.7 percent compared to 2016. Taken together, USC and the other top 10 biggest fundraising universities collected more than 27 cents of every dollar donated to U.S. colleges last year.

The data come from CAE’s “Voluntary Support of Education” survey. Further details on national fundraising and related trends are available in CAE’s press release.

The Campaign for USC is a $6 billion effort to advance USC’s academic priorities and expand its positive impact on the community and world. At the time of its launch in 2011, the campaign was the largest fundraising goal ever announced in higher education.


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