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The value of Penn's endowment has reached a record-high $10.1 billion, breaching the $10 billion mark for the first time with a $537 million increase from last year's $9.6 billion. 

The University announced the figures for the fiscal year ending on June 30 at Thursday's meeting of the Board of Trustees' Budget and Finance Committee. The endowment returned 7.4 percent over the last fiscal year, a decline from last year's 17.5 percent return. 

Over the last three years, Penn's endowment returned an annualized 13 percent and an annualized 7.9 percent over the last 10 years. In the last decade, Penn's annual spending from the endowment has grown by over 140 percent. 

The majority of Penn's endowment assets are invested in the Associated Investments Fund. This fiscal year, investments in private equity and real estate generated particularly strong returns. 

Though the trustees noted that this year was a challenging investment year, the returns on the endowment did exceed what they had originally budgeted. 

Penn's is required to manage its endowment so that it benefits future generations of students as well as current students. Ninety percent of the endowment is restricted — comprised of gifts whose purpose can only be designated by the donor.

The other 10 percent of the endowment is used to support financial aid, construction and faculty hires, as well as other expenses. 

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