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February 4, 2016

Endowment ranks 26th

The University’s endowment stood at nearly $3.59 billion at the end of fiscal year 2015, placing it at No. 26 in an annual survey of college and university endowments. Pitt’s ranking fell one place from last year in the annual National Association of College and University Business Officers-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE).

The market value of Pitt’s endowment rose 2.7 percent from $3.49 billion in FY14, according to the NCSE, which was released last week. The change in market value includes investment gains and losses as well as the impact of contributions, withdrawals and management/investment fees.
Harvard’s endowment, valued at nearly $36.45 billion, was largest by far, followed by Yale at No. 2 with $25.57 billion. The University of Texas System with $24.08 billion; Princeton with $22.72 billion and Stanford with $22.22 billion rounded out the top five.

The 812 U.S. and Canadian institutions in this year’s study represented $529 billion in endowment assets. The average endowment was about $651.5 million and the average increase in market value was 1.8 percent.

Pitt’s FY15 endowment return was 2.5 percent; in comparison, the endowment returned 18.27 percent in FY14.

The participating institutions’ endowments returned an average of 2.4 percent (net of fees) in FY15, well below the average of 15.5 percent in FY14. The FY15 return was the lowest since FY12 and contributed to a decline in the 10-year average annual return, which fell to 6.3 percent from 7.1 percent last year.

Pitt was among 94 institutions with endowments worth more than $1 billion. Endowments in the $1 billion-plus returned an average of 4.3 percent, well above the 2.4 percent average across all participating institutions.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Editor’s note: This story was updated 2.4.16.

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