As tuition costs continue to mount at universities across the nation, some colleges are sitting on mountains of cash.
And while some of that cash goes to regular campus operations or scholarships for students with financial need, many schools don't really use it at all, investing the money to fund big future projects. And sometimes, when the economy tanks, the money simply gets lost in the market.
Private schools rely on alumni and corporate sponsors to raise funds for the school's endowment fund, and while some endowments are quite restricted (so they can be spent only after a certain amount of time, or they can only be invested so as to use the profits), many leading universities have taken criticism for collecting the money and sitting on it while raising costs for students.
The most recent comprehensive endowment study from the National Association of College and University Business Owners, which evaluated the 2011 endowment funds for 839 institutions in the U.S., found 75 with more than $1 billion in the bank.
Following are the 10 richest universities in the U.S.