The University of Pittsburgh has joined an elite group of schools whose endowments top $1 billion, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported June 30.
Pitt’s endowment has more than doubled in five years from $482 million in 1995 to its current total of $1.02 billion. The fund grew by $150 million last year.
The new total was announced at the same time as a 5 percent tuition increase for the school’s 32,000 students.
The endowment gains did little to make the increase smaller, because 87 percent of its money has been restricted for specific uses. A larger endowment will allow the school to offer more scholarships and other aid, however.
Pitt’s endowment has grown for two reasons. First, there has been an 83 percent increase in yearly giving to the university since 1995. Second, the bull market has swelled college endowments all over the country.
U.S. colleges and universities enjoyed double-digit annual returns on their investments eight times during the 1990s, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Last year the average return was 11 percent.
Only 34 schools in the U.S. had endowments of over $1 billion as of June 1999, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, though it is possible that schools other than Pitt have also succeeded in breaking the billion-dollar barrier since then.
For full story, go to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.