Among them are Ralph Nader, a veteran political activist, and Ron Unz, author of a number of searing articles on American meritocracy. Both are hoping to win election to the university’s board of overseers, from which perch they will push to make Harvard free for all students to attend, and also pressure its admissions office to disclose data on how it chooses which students to admit. They hope that other well-endowed Ivies would then be shamed into doing the same.
America’s universities raised a record $40.3 billion last year, according to the Council for Aid to Education. Harvard’s endowment is made up of 13,000 funds and is its largest source of revenue by far. Endowments are not usually used to lower tuition fees, but they can be used to provide scholarships and financial aid to students who cannot afford to pay (70% of students at Harvard get some assistance with fees and living costs).