University investments fare well in 2018, but worries linger

Hundreds of U.S. universities made strong returns on their financial investments last year, but experts worry the gains could be jeopardized by increased spending at many schools.

A survey of more than 800 colleges and universities found that their endowments returned an average of 8.2 percent in fiscal year 2018, down from the previous year's average of 12.2 percent but a major improvement over two sluggish years before that.

Harvard University remained the wealthiest school in the nation with an endowment valued at more than $38 billion, while the University of Texas system jumped Yale University to take the No. 2 spot with just under $31 billion.

According to the researchers behind the annual study poor performance by U.S. and international stocks dragged returns down from their 2017 rates, but other types of investments fared relatively well.

Dawn Kamber