The University reported that the endowment earned a 0.8 percent investment gain for the 2016 fiscal year. The value of the endowment decreased by about $570 million, or 2.6 percent, from its high of $22.2 billion at the end of FY 2015.
On average, the endowment receives a 8.2 percent return annually, putting the University in the top percentile of its peer institutions, according to the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service. The Princeton University Investment Co. (PRINCO), which manages the endowment, will meet later this month to confirm the investment results.
The decline in the overall value of the endowment is due to withdrawals to cover operating budget costs, according Provost David Lee.
“The endowment allows the university to sustain the excellence of its research and teaching programs as well as to maintain its commitment to its generous financial aid and full access for any student who is admitted, regardless of ability to pay and without the need for students to take out loans," he said in a University release.
Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees approved a $147.4 million increase in the operating budget to cover increased undergraduate financial aid.Dartmouth College, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University all reported investment losses this year. Harvard, which has the largest endowment, posted a 2 percent annual investment loss, which, in addition to spending, cost the university $1.9 billion. The only other Ivy League school to report a positive investment return this year is Yale University, which saw a gain of 3.4 percent.