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Finances

Operating Budget

2013–14 $1,582,403,000
2014–15 (projected) $1,640,032,000

The total operating budget for 2013-14 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, 2014.

Income and Expenditures

Income 2013-14 (in thousands)

Endowment payout and other investment income 47% $749,021
Student fees 20% $310,672
Sponsored research 17% $273,718
Gifts 9% $134,943
Auxiliary activities and service income 7% $114,049
100%

Expenditures 2013-14 (in thousands)

Academic departments 37% $591,483
Physical facilities 23% $373,032
Student aid 15% $234,172
Administrative services 12% $183,701
Library and computing services 6% $95,140
PPPL 5% $80,000
Athletics 2% $24,875
  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 $19.7 billion as of March 31, 2014. (Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University and the University of Texas System had larger endowments as of June 30, 2013.) 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, 2014.

Giving to Princeton

Gifts are essential to keeping the University at the forefront of higher education. The generosity of Princetonians 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.

In recent years, donations from alumni, parents and friends have strengthened programs in the creative and performing arts, engineering and the environment, and global citizenship, among others. State-of-the-art facilities to help carry out the University’s mission are a priority. Princeton recently dedicated new buildings devoted to the study of neuroscience and psychology. A complex that will serve as a hub of the University’s programs in the arts is under construction.

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 University’s overall budget for educational expenses.

Since 1940, Annual Giving has raised more than $1.15 billion for Princeton, and 90.9 percent of all alumni have participated in Annual Giving at some time. The 2013-14 Annual Giving campaign raised $58.7 million in unrestricted funds, with 61.4 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.