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Big Ten Endowments Report

Fiscal Year 2008-2009

Following up on earlier research, Onward State has examined the latest NACUBO College Endowment Study and updated our findings. Nothing groundbreaking here. The economy was poor, and in fiscal year 2009, the Big Ten endowments continued their decline from fiscal year 2008.

Penn State’s endowment lost nearly 21% of its value, which is in fact a middle-of-the-road figure relative to the rest of the Big Ten. Northwestern University experienced the largest decrease in endowment value by percent, almost 25%. Purdue escaped 2009 with less damage to its endowment than any other Big Ten university, suffering only a 16% loss.

Endowment Change by Fiscal Year

The news isn’t all bad however. The Collegian reported that Penn State, along with many other universities, has experienced an increase in its endowment since the NACUBO numbers were compiled.

From a low of $1.26 billion, the university’s endowment has risen to $1.46 billion, a 16% increase. Onward State recently solicited the other schools in the Big Ten for their endowment figures from the end of calendar year 2009 to see how Penn State stacked up.

Unfortunately, we only received updated figures from Purdue, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Northwestern, and Michigan. Apparently, it is common practice to only evaluate the endowment once per year. Universities that got back to us, but only to say that the fiscal year 2009 figures were their most recent, were Indiana and Minnesota. Illinois, Michigan State, and Iowa never replied. Perhaps they don’t have email?

Change in Endowment Valuation from Fiscal year 2009 to Calendar Year 2009 (Schools w/ Updated Figures)

Those schools that we did hear back from saw increased endowment value similar to Penn State’s experience. Purdue experienced the greatest rebound, seen at right, of more than 17%, with Penn State close behind at the aforementioned 16%.

These numbers are promising, and it is unfortunate that the other Big Ten schools endowment figures are not available for comparison. While the losses of the past year will take time to recover from, it seems prudent investment strategies and a rebounding economy have certainly helped.

A few wealthy donors wouldn’t hurt either…

About the Author

Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.

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