Americans gave nearly $32-billion to colleges and universities last year.
That contribution rate in 2008 broke an all time record but the gifts are now either gone or are substantially reduced.
The "New York Times" reports donations hit a wall in January.
Ann Kaplan, who conducted a survey for the Council for Aid to Education says, quote, "it's vastly different now than it was then." Kaplan says every institution she surveyed said donors who'd made multi-year pledges in the past had contacted them to see if they could renegotiate their offer.
She says the huge increase seen last year mostly involved wealthy colleges just becoming more wealthy.
The top 20 universities reported major gains but for smaller institutions gifts were down 4.2-percent.
The survey found the University of California, Los Angeles raised the most of any public institution in America ranking sixth overall.
The not so public campuses hauled in the big bucks.
Stanford was number one at $785-million followed by Harvard at more than 650-million.
Yale, which collected more than $486-million in 2008 is now postponing a two-billion-dollar building project and is considering layoffs thanks to reductions this year in financial support from foundations, alumni and corporations.
Pollsters say the declines are likely to continue at least another couple of years.
(Copyright 2009 by Newsroom Solutions)