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Operating Budget

2015–16 $1,786,210,000
2016–17 (projected) $1,913,276,000

The total operating budget for 2015-16 included funding for sponsored research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), which totals $125 million. PPPL operates on a federal fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, 2016.

Income and Expenditures

Income 2015–16 (in thousands)

Endowment payout and other investment income 46% $818,268
Student fees 19% $330,644
Sponsored research 18% $328,204
Gifts and other income 12% $211,451
Auxiliary activities and service income 5% $97,643

Expenditures 2015–16 (in thousands)

Academic departments 36% $645,827
Physical facilities 22% $396,623
Student aid 15% $259,682
Administrative services 11% $195,435
Library/computing/museum 7% $134,836
PPPL 7% $125,000
Athletics 2% $28,807

The Endowment

Princeton’s endowment is the fourth-largest in the country, with a value of $21.3 billion as of March 31, 2016. (Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Texas System had larger endowments as of June 30, 2015.) 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, 2016.

Giving to Princeton

Princetonians generously support all aspects of the University’s teaching and research mission.

Recent gifts have established the Louis A. Simpson Center for the Study of Macroeconomics and the Daniel Kahneman and Anne Treisman Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy, while a landmark bequest of the Scheide Library enhanced the University’s collection of rare books and manuscripts. New facilities supported by gifts from alumni and friends include the Lewis Center for the Arts complex and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.

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

Since 1940, Annual Giving has raised more than $1.24 billion for Princeton, and 90.4 percent of alumni have participated at some time. The 2015-16 Annual Giving campaign raised $59.3 million — the second highest total in Annual Giving history, with 58.4 percent of undergraduate alumni participating. Annual Giving owes its success to an exceptional volunteer effort that galvanizes Princetonians from around the world.