Campus Reform | Here's how much American academia spent lobbying the federal government

Here's how much American academia spent lobbying the federal government

Universities and higher education coalitions spent over $80 million lobbying the federal government in 2020.

Public universities and academic associations topped the list.

American academia spent more than $80 million lobbying the federal government in 2020.

According to data compiled by Open Secrets, lobbying dollars spent on education totaled $80,121,878 last year.

The top ten universities for lobbying were as follows:

University of California ($1,050,000)

University of Pittsburgh ($890,000)

Johns Hopkins University ($800,000)

University of Washington ($790,000)

University of Florida ($738,780)

Colorado State University ($710,000)

University of Colorado ($707,631)

Texas A&M University ($700,000)

Nova Southeastern University ($640,000)

California State University ($633,000)

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Ivy League universities — which boast multibillion-dollar endowments — also spent considerable dollars on lobbying:

University of Pennsylvania ($630,000)

Harvard University ($595,000)

Cornell University ($520,000)

Yale University ($510,000)

Princeton University ($360,000)

Columbia University ($160,000)

Brown University ($150,000)

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Dwarfing many universities, however, were academic organizations and coalitions. The Association of American Medical Colleges — a nonprofit “dedicated to transforming health through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations” — topped the list with $4,428,000 in lobbying funds.

National Association of Scholars Director of Communications Chance Layton told Campus Reform that the large lobbying spend is due to the fact that “the majority of higher education's income comes from the government.”

“More lobbyists equal more facetime, which increases the potential for more federal dollars,” he explained. “Not to mention, many smaller colleges and universities — those without large endowments — are facing serious financial strain. There are only two ways many of those will survive: reform, cut spending, and pray that's enough; or ask Congress for a bailout.”

“Most have opted for the second option,” he added.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft