Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Advisor/Committee Chair

David Smith


Universities compete with each other to admit the best students and achieve the highest quality ranking. Students use reputational ranking to determine which institution they want to attend. Universities use student tuition plus alumni donations to establish an investable endowment fund. In this paper, multiple analyses are run to investigate the relation between reputational rankings and endowment funds between 2006 and 2014. The main and surprising finding of the paper is that the expectation of a strong positive link between the two rankings is not borne out by the data. One additional interesting finding is that the lower a university’s endowment ranking, the more volatility there is in endowment ranking change. This also holds true with reputational rankings as there is more volatility for universities ranked lower.