OUR THOUGHTS ON:

Survey Results of Educational Endowment Performance Reported

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The NACUBO – Commonfund Study of Endowments® (NCSE) released earlier this year reported that the average endowment return of the 823 U.S. colleges and universities responding was 19.2% (net of fees) for the fiscal year July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. This represents significant improvement over the FY 2010 average returns of 11.9% and recovery from the -18.7% return for FY 2009.

NACUBO President and CEO John D. Walda and Commonfund Institute Executive Director John S. Griswold said in a joint statement, “The average effective spending rate among study participants this year was 4.6%. Adding inflation and costs totaling roughly 3 to 4%, and an average annual return of between 8 and 9% is necessary just to stay even.”

NCSE results are reported according to the size of the endowment, in six size categories, ranging from under $25 million to those in excess of $1 billion in assets. The NCSE for FY 2011 includes both public and private institutions, as well as their supporting foundations, making it the most comprehensive annual report on the investment management and governance practices and policies relative to U.S. higher education available. The study is available for purchase at www.nacubo.org.

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