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Taking A Look At Penn State’s Latest Financial Statements

With almost 89,000 students across 20 campuses, Penn State is one of the largest universities in the United States. As a result, it generates a lot of money to keep track of.

To keep track of that money, the university releases Audited Financial Statements every year. These reports organize Penn State’s accounting data to accurately convey its business activities and financial performance.

There’s a lot of money tied to Penn State’s name, and we’re here to summarize and put it in perspective it for you. So, let’s take a look at the moolah.


To make things clear, Penn State’s fiscal year ends on June 30, which means that the most recent 2021 report published by the university captures all of its business activities from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.

Penn State has just over $1.8 billion in cash on hand, enough money to almost completely fund the construction of Allegiant Stadium. This number is 22% less than in the prior fiscal year. On the surface, you might think that’s a bad thing, but the university invested a lot of its cash in the last fiscal year. For example, Penn State purchased $951 million in land, buildings, and equipment in 2021, which is a $97 million increase from the prior year. This brought its total value of land, buildings, and equipment to $6.61 billion.

The university’s total net assets, which is a fancier term for net worth, sit at $12.4 billion as of June 30, 2021. This number is what Penn State is basically worth on the books, or the amount if all assets were liquidated and all debts were paid off. Putting that number into further context, Penn State’s book value is just less than Uber’s, which has a book value of about $14 billion, according to its latest 10-Q.

To give an idea of how much Penn State has grown financially in the last 14 years, the university’s net assets in FY 2007 were valued at $4.4 billion. That is a 181% increase in net worth from 2007 to today.

Moving over to the university’s operating revenues and expenses (read: the money made and spent on its primary business activities), Penn State’s operating revenues increased from $6.8 billion in 2020 to $7.3 billion in 2021, and its operating income increased from $208 million to $476 million. The largest revenue generator was its health system, Penn State Health, which made up 47% of Penn State’s revenue. The second-largest source of revenue was from tuition across the commonwealth, which pulled in $1.79 billion.

As operating revenue grew, Penn State’s operating expenses grew by $200 million to just under $6.8 billion. Notably, the university spent $1.96 billion in academic and student services expenses, $3.32 billion in salaries and wages, and $913 million on research.

Penn State’s “increase in total net assets”, which is really just net income, was $2.44 billion for FY 2021. This is a 443% increase from posting a net loss of about $712 million in FY 2020.

Here’s a topic that everyone likes to talk about: student loans. As of June 30, 2021, Penn State is owed over $45 million in outstanding loans from students. The university also collected $7.1 million in loans.

Now, let’s look at some accounting ratios.

Penn State’s return on assets for FY 2021 was about 13%, which means that every dollar of assets generated 13 cents of profit. The university’s profit margin was 33%, so every dollar of operating revenue generated 33 cents of profit.

If you’re a finance junkie or are just curious about Penn State’s finances, you can find its annual reports here. Stay tuned for when we take a deep dive into Penn State Athletics’ financial report next.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected]

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