The 20 wealthiest private colleges in America

The wealthiest private colleges in America eclipse many corporate giants as financial powerhouses. The endowment for Yale University, for instance, is worth nearly twice as much Macy's or MGM Resorts. Harvard University - the richest college in the country and $13 billion wealthier than Yale - could buy Prudential, General Mills, or Nokia with its $36 billion endowment.

Schools like Yale and Harvard use their endowments to support their operating budget and invest for future opportunities, from providing scholarships and financial aid to funding research and other initiatives. The richest colleges, frequently the most prestigious, can offer more of these opportunities to their students and community, giving them a leg up in recruitment and helping them burnish their academic reputation.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), an organization under the US government that collects and analyzes education data, provided Business Insider with the most recent figures on US college endowments (the fiscal year ending in October 2014). It also provided its most recent data on the annual cost for a student to attend each college while living on campus.

Business Insider rounded up the 30 richest colleges overall, and below we've highlighted the 20 wealthiest private colleges - which all boast endowments of more than $3 billion.

Additional reporting by Alex Morrell.