Students walking past a campus building

Endowment continues to support Princeton’s commitment to affordability, excellence in teaching and cutting-edge research

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2023, Princeton’s endowment generated a 1.7% investment loss and its value stood at $34.1 billion. The average annual return on the endowment for the past 10 years is 10.8% and is 10.5% for the past 20 years.

The endowment is the financial foundation that underpins the University’s teaching and research mission and supports Princeton’s exceptional financial aid program, which makes it possible for students from all backgrounds to live and learn at the University without the need to incur debt.

“The returns on the endowment enable the University to commit to making a Princeton education affordable for all admitted students, at both the undergraduate and graduate level,” Provost Jennifer Rexford said. “Our generous financial aid packages make it possible for undergraduates from all backgrounds, regardless of their need, to pursue a Princeton education. Additionally, our stipends, benefits and campus housing for graduate students make Princeton one of the best places in the world to pursue an advanced degree.”

The endowment supports almost every aspect of the University, including:

  • The continual expansion of Princeton’s generous financial aid program. The University’s financial aid model means that most families with incomes up to $100,000 a year pay nothing for their student to attend Princeton, and many families living in the U.S. with incomes up to and even beyond $300,000 may receive grant aid.
  • Cutting-edge discoveries that have impact on the world, from climate science to the treatment of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. 
  • Capital projects that support the growth of the student body, as well as state-of-the-art research initiatives that advance scientific frontiers in areas like neuroscience and bioengineering.
  • Service programs that fund faculty and students to do on-the-ground work in communities close to home and around the world.
  • Outreach initiatives that support the success of first-generation, lower-income, veteran, community college and transfer students, including the expansion of Princeton’s transfer admission program and new partnerships with community colleges in New Jersey.

The earnings from the endowment provide about two-thirds of the University’s net annual operating revenues and help fund the University’s highest priority strategic initiatives, while preserving real value for future generations. This percentage has steadily increased as the endowment has grown. In 1997, only 33% of the University’s operating revenue was funded by endowment earnings.

In fiscal year 2023, distributions from the endowment totaled $1.6 billion. Over the last 20 years, the endowment has contributed $18.4 billion toward the University’s operations, equivalent to almost double the endowment’s value at the start of that timespan.

Endowment funds currently cover 70% of the undergraduate financial aid budget, which has supported the University’s efforts to increase the socioeconomic diversity of the student body.

The fiscal year 2023 endowment investment results were certified by the Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO) board of directors earlier this month.

More on Princeton's endowment

Princeton’s endowment is the financial foundation that underpins the University’s teaching and research mission. The endowment's purpose is to provide steady support for the University’s current and future needs, while preserving real value for future generations.