Cornell Endowment Breaks $6 Billion

October 22, 2014 2:06 am4 comments


Cornell announced Tuesday that it earned a return of 15.8 percent on its endowment during the 2014 fiscal year, marking a more than four-percent increase from fiscal year 2013.

This figure stands in stark contrast to the University’s endowment return just two years ago, when Cornell saw only a 0.14 percent gain during the 2012 fiscal year. This is the second year in a row where Cornell saw a return in the double digits.

 This graph shows endowment returns for fiscal year 2014 among Ivy League institutions, by percent.

This graph shows endowment returns for fiscal year 2014 among Ivy League institutions, by percent.

Cornell’s endowment reached $6.2 billion, surpassing the $6-billion mark that it previously achieved in fiscal year 2008, according to the University. In comparison, the value of Cornell’s long-term investments at the close of the 2013 fiscal year was $5.7 billion.

The University attributed the significant increase in the value of its long-term investments to “careful management and generally favorable market conditions.”

However, despite the increase in its endowment return, the University has seen the second-lowest endowment return among the Ivy League institutions for the third year in a row. This year, Cornell barely edged out Harvard University’s return of 15.4 percent.

Yale University saw the greatest endowment return for the 2014 fiscal year among Ivy League schools with a return of 20.2 percent, bringing its total endowment to $23.9 billion — an all-time high — according to The Yale Daily News.

Princeton University followed closely behind with an endowment return of 19.6 percent, The Daily Princetonian reported.

Dartmouth, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania and Brown reported returns of 19.2, 17.5, 17.5 and 16.1 percent, respectively.

Cornell’s largest returns for fiscal year 2014 came from private equity, domestic equity and non-United States developed portfolios, according to a University press release.

Chief Investment Officer A.J. Edwards said in the release that while changes in the world economy “need to be watched,” recent fluctuations in the market have not been a major concern.

“The [long-term investments are] positioned both to weather the continued uncertain and ever-changing economic outlook and to benefit from opportunities that may arise from time to time,” he said.

According to the press release, Cornell’s long-term investments has returned 11.7 percent annualized over five years and 8.2 percent over 10 years. Additionally, the Consumer Price Index has grown at a 2.5 percent annual rate over the past 10 years — an increase of 0.1 percent from the previous year, The Sun previously reported.

  • the_Hold_Steady

    Now can we stop calling these places “non-profit”?

    • Guest

      Non-profit doesn’t mean what you think it means

      -Not an ILR grad

  • Ugh

    How does a 15.7% return on a 5.7 billion dollar endowment only raise it to 6.2 billion? Are Sun writers not only bad at writing, but math as well?

    • Guest

      “Usually the endowment is structured so that the principal amount is kept intact while the investment income is available for use…”

      Second sentence on Wikipedia. Step up your game.