NEPC survey: Endowments soar but universities fear enrollment declines

NEPC, LLC, one of the largest independent, research-driven investment consulting firms, today announced the results of its 2021 Higher Education Survey, which highlights both present concerns and longer-term outlooks for some of the nation’s largest higher ed endowments.

COVID-related concerns are receding, with only 8% indicating concerns about pandemic-related expenses. There is an overall tenor of optimism among higher ed endowments. Only 19% signaled significant concern about inflation and 50% have plans for significant capital expenditures.

Enrollment declines (cited by 62%) are now the top worry for universities in spite of healthy enrollment levels for most universities. 63% reported either no change or an increase in enrollment compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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