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After a few tough years following the recession, alumni giving has made a comeback at the country's colleges and universities.
The total amount of money donated by alumni was up in 2013, according to a 2014 report released by Blackbaud Inc., a company that develops software and services for nonprofits. At the same time, the number of donors continues to decrease, much as it did before the economic downturn.
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Administrators at Florida College enjoyed a particularly strong showing. There, an average of 64.7 percent of alumni gave back to the school during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years – the highest percentage among the 1,146 ranked schools that reported the data to U.S. News in an annual survey.
Out of the 10 schools with the largest percentage of alumni with bachelor's degrees who donated to the school in back-to-back years, all but two were National Liberal Arts Colleges. Most of the 10 schools were also highly ranked. Seven of the National Liberal Arts Colleges, for example, were among the top 20 schools of their kind.
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Alumni giving rates varied significantly. At 250 schools, for example, an average of less than 5 percent of alumni gave back to their schools during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.
Below is a list of the 10 colleges and universities with the highest two-year average percentage of alumni donors. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report. Florida College is labeled Rank Not Published because it fell in the bottom one-fourth of its ranking category. U.S. News calculates a numerical rank for RNP schools, but does not publish them.
|School name (state)||Two-year average percentage of alumni who donated||U.S. News rank and category|
|Florida College||64.7%||RNP, Regional Colleges (South)|
|Princeton University (NJ)||62.5%||1, National Universities|
|Thomas Aquinas College (CA)||60.7%||77 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Williams College (MA)||58.1%||1, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Davidson College (NC)||55.4%||11 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Carleton College (MN)||53.9%||8 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Bowdoin College (ME)||53.4%||5 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Bates College (ME)||53%||19 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Middlebury College (VT)||52.8%||7, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Amherst College (MA)||52.7%||2, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find alumni giving rates, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.
U.S. News surveyed nearly 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2014 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News' data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News' rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools. The alumni data above are correct as of Dec. 30, 2014.