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Finances

Operating Budget

2012–13 $1,518,005,000
2013–14 (projected) $1,588,909,000

The total operating budget for 2012-13 included funding for sponsored research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), which totals $80 million. PPPL operates on a federal fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, 2013.

Income and Expenditures

Income 2012–13 (in thousands)

Endowment payout and other investment income 47% $704,837
Student fees 20% $299,432
Sponsored research 18% $275,867
Gifts 8% $127,572
Auxiliary activities and service income 7% $110,297
100%

Expenditures 2012–13 (in thousands)

Academic departments 38% $570,633
Physical facilities 23% $350,212
Student aid 15% $230,153
Administrative services 11% $171,955
Library and computing services 6% $91,576
PPPL 5% $80,000
Athletics 2% $23,476
  100%  

The Priorities Committee (PriCom)

The Priorities Committee is a committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community and is advisory to the University president. Every year since 1974, the committee has made recommendations regarding the subsequent year’s operating budget. The provost chairs the committee, which also includes the dean of the faculty, the executive vice president, the treasurer, six faculty members, four undergraduates, two graduate students and one member from one of the other groups represented on the council. In addition, the vice provost for academic programs and the budget director and associate provost for finance meet with the committee.

The Endowment

Princeton’s endowment is the fifth-largest in the country, with a value of $17.9 billion as of March 31, 2013. (Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University and the University of Texas System had larger endowments as of June 30, 2012.) The endowment is invested mostly through funds managed externally in a diversified group of assets, including domestic and international stocks and bonds, independent return funds, private equity, venture capital, real estate, and other assets not traded on organized trading markets.

Princeton’s portfolio has historically experienced solid returns. The total return on Princeton’s endowment — defined as “dividends and interest on portfolio holdings, plus or minus capital appreciation or depreciation” — is estimated to be over 12 percent per year over the 25-year period ending June 30, 2013.

Giving to Princeton

Gifts from undergraduate and graduate alumni, parents and friends are vital to sustaining Princeton’s historic mission and keeping the University at the forefront of higher education. The generosity of Prince-tonians of all ages and from every part of the world supports excellence in teaching, innovation in research and advancement of the University’s long traditions of service.

Thanks in large part to the five-year “Aspire” campaign, which concluded in 2012 after raising $1.88 billion, Princeton in recent years has strengthened its programs in teaching, learning, residential life and athletics. Gifts to “Aspire” established 26 new professorships, 120 new undergraduate scholarships and 25 new graduate fellowships, and supported the University’s groundbreaking financial aid program. The campaign — the fourth and largest in Princeton’s 266-year history — enhanced the University’s capacities in engineering and the environment, the creative and performing arts, neuroscience and global citizenship.

Annual Giving. Critically important to Princeton’s continuing vitality, Annual Giving is at the core of the University’s efforts to seize extraordinary opportunities for learning and discovery, to support the comprehensive financial aid program, to provide funds for new initiatives, and to help meet emerging needs and challenges. Flexible and immediately available, the unrestricted funds raised through Annual Giving provide nearly 10 percent of the overall budget for educational expenses, supporting the University’s core mission.

Since 1940, Annual Giving has raised more than $1 billion for Princeton, and 90.8 percent of all alumni have participated in Annual Giving at some time. The 2012-13 Annual Giving campaign raised more than $57 million in unrestricted funds, with 61.1 percent of all undergraduate alumni participating. Annual Giving owes its success to an exceptional volunteer effort that reaches out to Princetonians and friends from all over the world through personal meetings, class events, phone calls, mail and email.