SAN FRANCISCO -- Stanford University has set a record for college fundraising, becoming the first school to collect more than $1 billion in a single year, according to a report issued yesterday.

For the eighth straight year, Stanford ranked first in the college fundraising survey by the Council for Aid to Education. The survey also shows that elite institutions continue to grab a disproportionate share of donor dollars.

In the 2012 fiscal year, roughly 3,500 U.S. colleges and universities raised $31 billion, 2.3 percent more than the previous year. The record was set in 2008 when schools took in $31.6 billion before fundraising dropped during the height of the financial crisis.

Stanford's $1.035 billion was followed by Harvard at $650 million, Yale at $544 million, the University of Southern California at $492 million and Columbia at $490 million.

The top 10 fundraising colleges collected $5.3 billion, or 17 percent, of the $31 billion, even though they represent only 0.3 percent of the 3,500 accredited, nonprofit schools included in the survey.

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford's alumni list includes the founders of major tech companies like Yahoo Inc. who have given to the school in recent years. Its haul is equal to nearly $56,000 for each of its roughly 18,500 undergraduate and graduate students, though much of the money will be used for research and construction.

By contrast, San Jose State University, a public college 20 miles away, raised $14 million, which is equal to $450 for each of its 31,000 students. -- AP

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