Elite university endowments soar as higher ed divide grows

By: | October 15, 2021

Endowment returns at the Ivy League universities and numerous other elite colleges have soared to new highs this year. As of today, six of the eight Ivy League schools have reported their returns for the just-concluded fiscal year, and each has set records of one type or the other. The average rate of endowment return for those six schools was 42%.

Harvard University saw a 33.6% return on its investments, bringing the value of its endowment to $53.2 billion, the largest in the nation and an increase of $11.3 billion from the previous fiscal year. The endowment’s public equity assets saw a 50% return, while private equity generated a 77% return.

According to The Harvard Crimson, the endowment doled out just over $2 billion toward the University’s operating budget last year, representing about 39% percent of its annual revenue. The university ended the fiscal year 2021 with a $283 million operational surplus, which included revenue from the endowment.

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