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Loss in endowment value leads to less money for student scholarships at NDSU

FARGO - North Dakota State University will have fewer scholarship dollars to award next year because the school's endowment shrank by 30 percent.

The Development Foundation met Thursday with NDSU deans to discuss how much money will be distributed from endowment funds next fall.

Executive Director Jim Miller estimates there will be $2.5 million for scholarships from endowed accounts, down about 13 percent from the nearly $2.9 million that was available this year.

The foundation saw an across-the-board decrease last year in its stock market holdings, bonds and all other assets, Miller said.

"As a result of that significant downturn, it had a major effect on the value of the endowment," he said.

The market value of the foundation's endowment funds dropped about 30 percent during 2008, from about $93 million to just under $66 million.

Miller said the loss is similar to what other universities nationwide experienced.

"A lot of campuses are going through the same thing we are," Miller said.

NDSU has other scholarships that are not from endowed funds.

Total NDSU scholarships amounted to $7.3 million this year.

Joe Heilman, NDSU student body president, said it's unfortunate to see a decline in scholarship dollars, but he hopes the state will fund higher education so tuition increases can be limited.

The University of North Dakota Foundation's endowment funds have fallen about 30 percent so far this fiscal year.

As a result, dollars available for scholarships will be reduced, but an amount has not been determined, said Leanna Ihry, media relations coordinator.

Officials at Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College said recently they plan to find other sources of money for scholarship dollars to make up for the loss in endowment revenue.