Planet Princeton

Princeton University Endowment Drops by $570 Million

Princeton University’s endowment earned a 0.8 percent investment gain for the fiscal year that ended June 30, school officials announced today. The endowment value stood at $22.2 billion at the end of the fiscal year, a decrease of about $570 million from the previous year, officials said.

The average annual return on the endowment for the past decade is 8.2 percent, which places the University’s endowment among the top percentile of 461 institutions listed by the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service. The Princeton University Investment Co. (PRINCO), the University office that manages the endowment, will certify the results during a meeting of its directors on Oct. 20, 2016.

“We are grateful to PRINCO for achieving a positive return in a difficult year,” Provost David Lee said. “Even with the positive return, the overall value of the endowment declined because we made withdrawals from the endowment, as we do every year, to cover up to half the costs of our operating budget. The endowment allows the university to sustain the excellence of its research and teaching programs as well as to maintain its commitment to its generous financial aid and full access for any student who is admitted, regardless of ability to pay and without the need for students to take out loans.”

Early this year, Princeton University trustees approved a 6.6 percent increase in undergraduate financial aid to $147.4 million in the school’s operating budget for the current year. As a result of the school’s efforts to increase the economic diversity of the student body, 21 percent of the freshman Class of 2020 received Pell grants, up from 7.2 percent for the freshman Class of 2008, school officials said.

Typically, Princeton students from families with the U.S. median household income of $56,500 pay no tuition. Their average grant also covers room, board and other expenses. Most students from families with incomes up to $140,000 pay no tuition, and for an average family with income around $160,000, grant support covers roughly 95 percent of tuition.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • Cara Marcano

    So they have $ $147.4 million for financial aid for their own but don’t pay any taxes to the town to support our schools or the multitude of public services they utilize? My understanding is the fees they pay Wall St to manage their $ – just the management fees forget about the actual profit and money – their billions as a non-profit – the fees on managing that are more than they pay in local or property taxes… to our town whose schools are overcrowded with the children of their employees…

  • Blake Cash

    I’ve always thought removing Woodrow Wilson’s name is meaningless at an institution which glorifies Carl Icahn

  • FreshAir

    Yes!! And what does this teach its students about economics? PU feeds the roots & core of the most threatening forces in the US economic system… cronyism & greed.

  • Robert Dana

    The free, no loan, requirement is ridiculous and rather patronizing.

    I suppose gone are the days when financial packages had campus job requirements. We wouldn’t want to stigmatize a student by requiring him or her to contribute to his or her college costs by working. Heavens no.

    Every student should pay/contribute something.

  • Blake Cash

    “Lost”? You mean “spent.” As much as PU is a temple to greed, spending money is not losing it, even if it is spent on an “education.”

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