Many colleges and universities in the United States maintain a financial endowment consisting of assets that are invested in financial securities, real estate, and other instruments. The investment yields a return that funds a portion of an institution's operational expenses while the principal exists in perpetuity. U.S. colleges and universities maintain some of the largest endowments in the world and make up the vast majority of higher education institutions with endowments greater than $1 billion.
The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) maintains information on endowments at U.S. higher education institutions by fiscal year (FY). As of FY2022[update], the total endowment market value of U.S. institutions stood at $807.332 billion, with an average across all institutions of $1.185 billion and a median of $208.735 million.