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February 5, 2015

Pitt endowment up 1 in annual survey

Pitt’s endowment ranked No. 25 among 832 U.S. institutions in an annual survey of university endowments, up from No. 26 a year ago. Pitt’s endowment stood at more than $3.49 billion in FY14, up from its FY13 year-end value of nearly $2.98 billion.

According to the 2014 National Association of College and University Business Officers-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE), released last week, Harvard’s endowment, valued at more than $35.88 billion in FY14, was largest by far. The University of Texas System was No. 2, with nearly $25.43 billion in FY14. Yale was No. 3 ($23.9 billion), Stanford, No. 4 ($21.45 billion) and Princeton, No. 5 ($21 billion).

The 832 institutions in the NCSE represent $516 billion in endowment assets. The 91 institutions with endowments of more than $1 billion represent nearly $381.64 billion in assets, 74 percent of the total.

Market values up

The NCSE found the market value of Pitt’s endowment increased 17.4 percent in fiscal year 2014, better than the average increase of 15 percent and median increase of 16.3 percent.

Returns increase

Pitt’s endowment returned 18.27 percent in FY14.

Endowment returns at the 832 institutions in FY14 averaged 15.5 percent. The subset of institutions with endowments greater than $1 billion had the highest average FY14 endowment returns, 16.5 percent. Public institutions averaged a return of 15.7 percent.

Average spend rate

Pitt’s endowment income distribution for FY14 was approximately 4.25 percent of its three-year average value.

The NCSE institutions’ average FY14 spend rate was 4.4 percent overall; it was 4.6 percent for endowments greater than $1 billion. Public institutions averaged 4.1 percent.

The complete report is posted at

—Kimberly K. Barlow