Within the Republicans' 1,000+ page tax plan is a proposed 1.4% tax on private endowment investment earnings. Historically, private endowments enjoyed a tax-exempt status, similar to charities. This status has come under scrutiny among many in Congress, particularly as many of these organizations operate as investment managers with very large assets under management.
The proposed provision would levy the tax on schools with at least 500 students and more than $250,000 of endowment assets per student. All 10 of the largest private university endowments meet this criteria, with Columbia University the closet to the threshold at $320,000 of assets per student.
Using 2017 assets as a proxy, the three largest plans would have had tax bills average $45 million given 2017 fiscal-year returns.