Report of the Treasurer

LAST UPDATED: DECEMBER 21, 2020

One male student wearing mask and Princeton sweatshirt, walks through arched hallway with warm light at the end.

Despite the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, fiscal year 2020 was a financially sound year for Princeton University, with respect to its operating performance as well as the strength of its financial resources. Net assets for the year ended June 30, 2020 increased by $384 million, or 1.4 percent, primarily due to strong operating results. The return of 5.6 percent from the managed investment portfolio was average among peers; however, Princeton’s ranking over the long-term among large university endowments falls in the top decile. The University’s Endowment spending rate of 5.53 percent was set in accordance with its board-approved spending framework, so as to fund ongoing operating needs as well as various new strategic initiatives in the coming years in the areas of expanded enrollment and aid, emerging academic fields and innovation. The strength of the Endowment also enables the University to support unplanned needs during extraordinary times, such as increased financial aid and costs of COVID-19 testing and safety. An operating surplus of $377 million, or 17.3 percent of total operating revenues in 2020, was achieved primarily through the prudent management of operating expenses and stewardship of financial resources, as well as from timing differences between higher endowment payouts in recent years and new spending on strategic initiatives.

 

Reports of the Treasurer