The Ivy Coach Daily

October 11, 2022

Most Ivy League Endowments Fall in 2022

While most Ivy League endowments fell in fiscal year 2022, Yale’s bucked the trend (photo credit: Namkota).

Well, at least you know you’re not alone? As Billy Joel sang it in his hit “Goodnight Saigon,” “We said we’d all go down together. Yes, we would all go down together.” It’s not just your investment portfolio that has been on the decline of late — Ivy League endowments, which historically at least seem to only go up, up, and away — have been dropping during this recession rather significantly. Just how much? Which Ivy League school’s endowment has declined the most? And is there an Ivy League school that has actually posted gains during this recession? Or broken even? Wonder no more as we’ve got answers!

Columbia University has reported a 7.6% loss for fiscal year 2022. But, hey, it’s not like Columbia is penny-less. Not even close. Their coffers are still filled with around $13.3 billon. That’s right. Billion. And after a gain of 32% the prior year, well, maybe this year’s losses don’t hurt quite as much over in Morningside Heights. Similarly, at Brown University, the endowment fell 4.6% this fiscal year, a far cry from its recent returns. Meanwhile, Dartmouth College reported a 3.1% loss in fiscal year 2022. Cornell University’s loss was a mere 1.3%. The University of Pennsylvania neither lost nor gained in the most recent fiscal year and, surprisingly, Yale University’s endowment went up by a margin of 0.8% under its new Chief Investment Officer, Matthew Mendelsohn, perhaps inspired by the guidance and legacy of the late David F. Swensen, the late longtime hugely successful leader of Yale’s endowment. Harvard University hasn’t yet reported its specific return, but we know Harvard saw a decline, albeit maybe a small one. Nonetheless, even a small decline is a far cry from their 11% return over the last five years and 34% return last year. Princeton University has yet to release their endowment return for the latest fiscal year.

Surprised Yale’s endowment went up ever so slightly during this recession? Or that UPenn broke even? Want to hire the leaders of these endowments as your money managers? We’re not sure they’re available at the moment. But, in any case, that which goes up must come down and that which goes down, well, it’ll come up. Just give it time…that’s what those money managers will tell you. And, while you’re here, check out last year’s Ivy League endowment returns just to put this year’s losses in perspective.

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