Many colleges report increase in donations

Despite the uncertain economy, many universities reported an increase in the amount of donations they received last year, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The total amount raised by college fundraising projects was more than $30 billion in 2011, representing an increase in giving of almost 5 percent. Students at many colleges, including Harvard University, Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University, could benefit from the funds donated. These colleges raised more than many other universities, reports the news source.

Other schools, such as Reed College, a small liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon, also reported an increase in giving.

"In general, there's a great uptick of major gift activity this year," Jan Kurtz, director of development for Reed, told the news source. "It's some combination of people feeling more optimistic about the economy and that we've been talking to them for a long time about the campaign."

According to The Los Angeles Times, the school that reported the most money donated was Stanford University in California, which raised more than $700 million last year. Although university officials have not said what the money will be used for, some of it could go toward expanding scholarship programs and improving facilities at the school.

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