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Taking A Look At Penn State’s Latest Financial Statements

While nearly 74,000 undergraduate students call Penn State home between University Park and 23 other commonwealth campuses, many fail to realize just how massive the state-wide educational system truly is. 

The vast operation generates its fair share of money, which is tracked in Audited Financial Statements released annually by Penn State. Each year, the report reflects the university’s financial performance in relation to its latest business decisions. 

Whether you’re studying finance itself, aerospace engineering, or art history, there’s no need to fret. The 43-page document is expansive for students majoring in all areas of study, but we’re here to break it down. So, let’s take a look at Penn State’s cash flows. 

Fiscally, the university’s calendar spans from July 1 to June 30, which is common for almost all nonprofit operations like Penn State. The most recent report, which came out at the start of the new year, encapsulates all of its business activities from the same timespan throughout 2022. 

Currently, Penn State possesses just over $1.05 billion in cash, which is enough to purchase the Kansas City Royals in MLB. Compared to the last financial cycle, the figure proves to be 42% less than its $1.8 billion in cash on hand the previous year. On the surface, the decrease seems alarming, but the university recently invested over $742 million in land, buildings, and equipment. 

Now, the university’s total value of land, buildings, and equipment stands at $6.85 billion — a $265 million increase from last year’s statement. Notably, Penn State purchased the University Club last February for $4.07 million and sold the Nittany Lion Inn and Penn Stater Hotel properties in June. 

In terms of the university’s total assets, which is synonymous with net worth, Penn State is valued at $12.39 billion — a slight dip from its $12.4 billion benchmark in 2021. The figure represents what the operation would be worth if all assets were liquidated and debts were paid off. 

Although the university-wide system’s worth dipped slightly over the past fiscal year, Penn State has drastically expanded financially since its first electronic audited statement became available in 2007. 

Fifteen years ago, the university’s net assets were valued at $4.4 billion. Inflation aside, the increase marks a 180% growth clip. 

Moving onto operating expenditures, which accounts for the money brought in and spent on primary business initiatives, the university’s operation revenues grew to a $7.89 billion mark in 2022, a $590 million increase from the last fiscal cycle. While Penn State’s operating income jumped nearly $476 million last year, the same category dipped to a $970,000 mark in 2022. Overall, Penn State Health proved to be the university’s largest revenue generator, bringing in over $3.5 billion. 

With operating revenue on the rise, in parallel, operating expenses also fluctuated over the latest fiscal cycle. In 2021, Penn State spent $6.8 billion to operate its vast operation but spent a gaudy $7.8 billion clip in 2022, with most of the increase resulting from research, institutional support, and health system expenses. Institutional support costs increased by over 135%, covering the expenses induced by student activities, cultural events, intramural athletics, and student clubs. 

Penn State rebounded in 2021 by posting a $2.44 billion net income figure after incurring a $712 million loss during the pandemic, but once again, the university posted a net loss for the second time in three years. In fiscal year 2022, the university lost just over $14 million, which basically puts an operation of Penn State’s magnitude at a breakeven point. 

No, we didn’t forget to cover student loans, folks. Last year, Penn State was owed over $45 million in outstanding student loans. Currently, the figure has decreased, amounting to just over $39 million. In 2022, the university collected over $5.1 million in student loan repayments. 

If you want to dive deeper into Penn State’s books, you can find every annual audit report dating back to 2007 here.

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a junior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania double majoring in journalism and business. He is a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. In his free time, Connor can be found playing golf or pick-up basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ckrause_31.

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