Studies of endowments don't bring good news these days. College endowments in the United States lost an average of 24.1 percent in the last six months of 2008, according to a survey from Commonfund Institute that provides an update on an estimate the organization released two months ago. As is typically the case, the largest endowments did better than smaller endowments. Those with more than $1 billion saw average losses of only 21.7 percent. Those endowments valued at less than $10 million lost an average of 30.2 percent.