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As markets fluctuate, Princeton endowment supports almost every aspect of the University

Oct. 28, 2022, 10 a.m.

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2022, Princeton’s endowment generated a 1.5% investment loss and its value stood at $35.8 billion. The average annual return on the endowment for the past 10 years is 12.2% and 11.0% for the past 20 years.

“The challenging market environment in the past year reinforces the University’s long-term investment strategy: long-term investments that lead to long-term results that support long-term goals,” said Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Jim Matteo. “Princeton is a 276-year-old institution with a teaching and research mission to serve the nation and humanity. The purpose of the endowment is to provide steady support for the University’s current and future needs, while preserving our ability to support future generations of students.”

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

  • Cutting-edge discoveries that have impact on the world, from cancer to climate science.
  • Princeton’s groundbreaking financial aid program that allows students to graduate with no debt, as well as the continued expansion of financial aid for undergraduates and stipends for graduate students announced this year.
  • Capital projects that support the growth of the student body, as well as the construction of state-of-the-art research facilities that support scientific frontiers like neuroscience and quantum computing.
  • Service programs that fund faculty and students to do on-the-ground work in communities close to home and around the world.

Endowment distributions and other investment income represent 66% of the University’s operating revenue annually. 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 2022, distributions from the endowment totaled $1.5 billion. Over the last decade, the endowment has contributed $11.7 billion toward the University’s operations, equivalent to almost two-thirds of the endowment’s value at the start of that timespan.

Endowment funds cover over 80% 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 2022 endowment investment results were certified by the Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO) board of directors earlier this month.