Things must be worse than we thought with Harvard's endowment. This has been a terrible year for colleges across the land, thanks to the recession (some even called it a "depression"). Endowment investments went south faster than a scared flock of Canada geese in October.
As you no doubt know, college endowments provide a significant portion of a school's ability to provide financial aid to its students. Thus, when the endowment shrinks, much pressure comes to bear on the administration and keepers of the cash to maintain a competitive aid position.