The average endowment return of 812 U.S. schools fell by over 13 percent between 2014 and 2015. 

Despite this, university spending grew.The 2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE) revealed that, on average, endowments accrued only 2.4 percent of their value during the year, a sharp decline from the 2014 figure of 15.5 percent.


This decline follows a general downward movement a decade in the making. The 10-year average annual return was 6.3 percent from 2005 to 2015, a figure 0.8 percent lower than the 2004 to 2014 value of 7.1 percent.


Accord to a U.S. World & News Report, of the 812 institutions analyzed, 78 percent increased their spending. The median value of this spending increase was 8.8 percent. Schools with endowments in the billions were the most likely to increase their spending.
While Penn’s $10.1 billion endowment is not in danger of vanishing into thin air, this trend could negatively impact the allocation of university resources for students.

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