Divestment of large institutions, particularly higher education institutions, from the fossil fuel industry is an important mitigation and adaptation strategy that also contributes to shifting the global culture and conversation around climate change. This paper inventories the presence or absence of fossil fuel divestment at each of the twenty-two HEIs within the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Ivy League. The divestment processes, historical South African apartheid divestment, and demographic factors of the HEIs were analyzed and compared to determine if any of these contextual variables are indicators of divestment. This inventory demonstrates that a fossil fuel investment freeze is a key indicator of future fossil fuel divestment while other factors such as endowment size, enrollment, and tuition did not appear to significantly differ between HEIs that did and did not divest. This has implications for higher education institutions and other institutions, cities, and other policy makers that are aiming to take their first steps towards achieving full fossil fuel divestment.