Dartmouth Announces Endowment Return

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Trustee investment committee chair: The portfolio is well prepared for market volatility.

Fall trees and a white campus building
(Photo by Robert Gill)

Dartmouth’s endowment returned -3.1% for fiscal year 2022.

While equity and fixed income markets contracted sharply during the 12 months ending June 30, 2022, the Dartmouth endowment’s strong outperformance demonstrated excellence in strategy, risk management and portfolio construction. The results also reflect outperformance by many of the endowment’s managers.

The endowment’s long-term performance is well above its benchmark, with three-year, five-year, and 10-year annualized returns of 15.1%, 13.0%, and 11.8% respectively, as of June 30, 2022. For the prior fiscal year, ending June 2021, Dartmouth’s endowment generated a return of 46.5%.

“Dartmouth’s endowment is well prepared for the market volatility we experienced this year,” says Chris Lord ’86, chair of the Board of Trustees Investment Committee. “While the performance was slightly negative on a one-year basis, our focus and investment strategy are designed to ensure that Dartmouth is positioned for exceptional long-term, risk-adjusted results.”

As of June 30, the endowment was valued at $8.1 billion, having distributed $336 million in support of Dartmouth’s mission for the fiscal year. The endowment distribution this year represented one-third of Dartmouth’s $1.2 billion operating budget.

The endowment enables Dartmouth’s investment in its teaching and research mission and strategic long-term initiatives, including tuition affordability for students and families of all income levels. It also helps in building a more welcoming and inclusive community; ensuring the mental and physical well-being of students, faculty, and staff; renewing and developing critical infrastructure; and positioning the institution for continued success in a shifting higher-education landscape.

“Without the endowment, Dartmouth’s enduring commitment to need-blind admissions for undergraduate applicants would be less secure,” says Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid. “The endowment is an engine for opportunity and access for generations of Dartmouth students.”

This past January, Dartmouth extended its longstanding need-blind undergraduate admission policy to include international citizens, making Dartmouth just the sixth U.S. college or university to admit students regardless of citizenship or the ability to pay while also guaranteeing to meet 100% of demonstrated need for all undergraduates. Last summer, the institution eliminated required loans from its financial aid packages for all undergraduates and removed the expected parent contribution toward educational costs for families earning $65,000 or less with typical assets.

Dartmouth also provides scholarship support to all financial aid students who want to study abroad or participate in other off-campus academic programs. Since 2015, the annual financial aid budget has grown from $86 million to $136 million for fiscal year 2022, a 58% increase, while tuition has increased by the smallest rate during any seven-year period since the 1950s.

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