Dartmouth’s endowment generated a return of 7.6% for the 2020 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 2020, bringing the endowment’s total value to $6 billion. For the past 10 fiscal years, the endowment has generated an annualized return of 10.4%.
These long-term returns maintain inflation-adjusted purchasing power, delivering on the endowment’s purpose of balancing the needs of current Dartmouth students with the needs of future generations of students.
In fiscal year ’20, the endowment contributed approximately 30%—more than $270 million—to the annual operating budget in support of priorities such as a record-high level of undergraduate financial aid funding, important diversity and inclusivity initiatives, and scholarly research at all levels. These initiatives strengthen Dartmouth’s ability to provide a world-class liberal arts education and a research environment for all students and faculty, including at the Geisel School of Medicine, the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business.
Dartmouth is committed to admitting the most promising students, meeting 100% of undergraduate students’ demonstrated financial need—a level that is among the most generous in the country. In the current fiscal year, the budget for undergraduate financial aid is $119 million. As part of the financial aid program, students from families earning $100,000 a year or less receive scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition. This year, 237 students from the Class of 2024, about 22%, have received scholarship aid fully covering tuition. Overall, almost 48% of first-year students have received scholarships, averaging just under $62,000 per student.
“Given the financial challenges facing institutions of higher education, including Dartmouth, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and how volatile the markets were in the second half of the fiscal year, we are very pleased with this result,” says President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 of the endowment returns. “Over the longer term, the strength of the endowment continues to enable Dartmouth to invest in key long-term strategic initiatives.”
In May, President Hanlon announced that endowed scholarships would become the top priority for Dartmouth’s ongoing campaign, The Call to Lead, and he created the Presidential Commission on Financial Aid to champion the cause.