Due to a 3.6 percent investment gain in the 2023 fiscal year — which ended June 30 — Cornell’s endowment ended the year valued at a little over $10 billion, with a $355 million net investment gain, according to the Cornell Chronicle.
The 2023 endowment gave $386 million, or 7.1 percent of the University’s operating revenue, to support financial aid and other student support, faculty salaries and stipends, infrastructure, academics and research. The endowment, the Chronicle stated, allows the University to invest in financial aid at a greater rate than the annual increase in tuition.
Cornell’s endowment previously sat at approximately $10 billion after a staggering 41.9 percent increase in the 2021 financial year, which brought Cornell’s endowment from $7.2 billion to $10 billion. This increase represented Cornell’s largest endowment gain in over 35 years.
In the 2022 fiscal year, however, the endowment saw a 1.3 percent investment loss that brought the endowment down to a $9.8 billion value due to a volatile market caused by the war in Ukraine, supply chain challenges, inflation and tightening U.S. monetary policy, according to Chief Investment Officer Kenneth Miranda in the University’s press release that year.
Altogether, the endowment has seen an average 9.3 percent annual increase over the past five years, according to the Chronicle. According to Miranda, the resilient success of the endowment throughout market condition changes can be attributed to the “long-term orientation, sophisticated asset allocation and overall structure of the portfolio.”
“The University concluded the fiscal year with a solid return relative to the environment,” Miranda said. “We attribute this performance to our work since 2016 to diversify the University’s investment portfolio and strategies, reduce fees, and enhance liquidity and flexibility.”
The endowment, the Chronicle said, is comprised of thousands of individual contributions, with most donors allocating funds for specific purposes throughout the lifetime of the University. The endowment is largely used to support students’ financial aid and other means of student support.