Nassau Hall

Princeton endowment earns 12.5 percent return

Oct. 9, 2017 3 p.m.

Princeton University's endowment earned a 12.5 percent investment gain for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017. The endowment value stood at $23.8 billion, an increase of about $1.6 billion from the previous year.

The average annual return on the endowment for the past decade is 7.1 percent, which places the University's endowment among the top percentile of 458 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. 19, 2017.

"The University relies on earnings from the endowment to cover more than half of its operating budget, as well as to help fund its highest priority strategic initiatives,” said Provost Deborah Prentice. “For example, these earnings enable the University to provide generous financial aid that makes it possible for any student who is admitted to attend, regardless of ability to pay and without the need for students to take out loans."

Early this year, Princeton University trustees approved an 8.7 percent increase in undergraduate financial aid to $161.2 million in the University's operating budget for the current year. Endowment funds cover well over 80 percent of the undergraduate aid budget.

As a result of the University’s efforts to increase the socioeconomic diversity of the student body, 22 percent of the freshman Class of 2021 received Pell grants, up from 7.2 percent for the freshman Class of 2008.

Typically, Princeton students from families with the U.S. median household income of $56,500 pay no tuition and their average grant also covers room, board and fees. Most students from families with incomes up to $160,000 pay no tuition, and for an average family with income around $180,000, grant support covers roughly 91 percent of tuition. Students from families with incomes above $250,000 may qualify for some aid.