Student-Managed Investment Funds in Religiously Affiliated and Independent Colleges and Universities
Many colleges and universities now offer student-managed investment fund (SMIF) courses where students simultaneously manage a portfolio of real dollar investments and earn academic credit. This paper compares and contrasts the investment policies and objectives between religiously affiliated and independent private colleges and universities. Universities that offer SMIF courses as a part of their undergraduate finance curriculum were categorized as either a religiously affiliated or an independent private university. An instructor survey was administered to collect data on the specific investment policies with special consideration to socially responsible investment concerns. Additional data was gathered from U.S. News & World Report and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) in order to control for institution size, academic reputation, and other institutional variables. Comparison variables of interest include the size of the fund under student control, whether or not socially responsible investment policies are implemented, and whether or not margin trading and derivative trading are permissible investment strategies. The results of this study outline differences in the practice of socially responsible investing between the institution types and provide a glimpse into some of the unique concerns that religiously affiliated schools consider when operating student-managed investment funds.