The situation regarding many colleges’ endowments may not be quite as bad as expected. Despite dramatically bad news about many endowments (Stanford University, for instance, had 26 percent investment decline this year) things are looking up.

Relatively. A survey of college finances indicates that college endowments decreased 19 percent in 2009. This would ordinarily be awful news, except that a preliminary study about endowments, released in January, indicated a 22 percent decline.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer