Widgets Magazine

Stanford endowment rose to $18.7 billion, more international financial aid in sight

The University saw a 9.7-percent increase in its endowment this year, bringing the total value to $18.7 billion after the 2013 fiscal year.

The endowment total has steadily increased since 2009, marking a recovery from the 2008 financial crisis that hit major national investments including university endowments.

According to Randy Livingston, Stanford’s vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer, the increase in this year’s total was due to a combination of returns on endowment investments managed by the Stanford Management Company, new gifts, internal transfers of expendable funds and payout from the endowment to support current operations.

The University has not yet released specific information about the new gifts to the endowment and transfers for the 2013 fiscal year. Despite the growth, Livingston said he does not predict any reallocation of University funding.

“The investment returns and growth of endowment were very consistent with our long-term forecasting model, so this year’s results will not change the University’s budget or spending patterns,” Livingston said.

The endowment payout funds most of the University’s programs, including financial aid. Karen Cooper, director of financial aid, said around $1 billion is reserved for financial aid each year.

While Cooper also noted that the changes in the endowment will not have a direct impact on the amount of financial aid available to students annually, she predicts there will be a growing availability of financial aid to international students in the future.

“As funds that we have available for international students specifically grow, we can continue to admit more international students with financial aid packages,” Cooper said. “We have already made significant improvements just in the class this fall.”

Indeed, 45 international students in the class of 2017 are receiving financial aid, almost double the number of those in the class of 2016.

Stanford was among the first of its peer institutions to release endowment figures in 2013. During the previous fiscal year, Stanford’s endowment was the fourth largest in the nation, with Harvard, Yale and the University of Texas having the three largest university endowments.

Contact Michael Tuschman at michaeltuschman ‘at’ stanford.edu.

  • Paul

    That’s great news. And now that Stanford’s endowment exceeds the GDP of 87 UN member countries, it would be nice if they could at least try to slow tuition increases to the rate of inflation. As the following chart shows, the University has gone far afield of its founding grant mandate that it charge no tuition whatsoever:
    YEAR TUITION (in 2013 dollars)
    1920-1921 $120 ($1,403)
    1930-1931 $300 ($4,201)
    1940-1941 $345 ($5,763)
    1950-1951 $660 ($6,405)
    1960-1961 $1,005 ($7,941)
    1970-1971 $2,400 ($14,467)
    1980-1981 $6,285 ($17,839)
    1990-1991 $14,280 ($25,553)
    2000-2001 $24,441 ($33,195)
    2010-2011 $38,700 ($41,508)
    2013-2014 $42,690 ($42,690)

  • Paul

    Also, I think this article has some of the figures wrong. The payout is about $1B, which funds 21% of the annual budget (including SLAC, but not the hospitals). Annual financial aid expenditures are currently about $250M..

  • Paul

    Perhaps what Ms. Cooper meant was that $1B of the endowment is restricted to support financial aid (not $1B of the payout).