Georgetown’s endowment rose to a record $1.01 billion this year, marking a 12.8 percent increase from last year’s value and launching the university’s ranking from 67th to 61st, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers-Commonfund Study of Endowments.
The 12.8 percent jump is slightly higher than the national average increase for university endowments, which was reported at 11.9 percent. According to The New York Times, all asset classes, except real estate, demonstrated gains this year.
The financial gains reflect a rebound for the university after the harsh economic climate of fiscal year 2009 caused the endowment to fall to $889 million.
“We have worked hard to increase Georgetown’s endowment effectively, especially during these challenging economic times, and these figures are a measure of progress,” Chris Augostini, chief financial officer for the university, said in a press release yesterday. “We will continue to manage all of our finances prudently, including our ongoing efforts to grow our endowment, in order to further support strategic investments in our academic mission.”
The climb will also allow for future growth, as Georgetown pays a relatively low percentage of its endowment out in operating costs. In 2009, the university spent only 5.56 percent of its endowment on operations.
According to the university’s endowment report from last year, a significant disparity still exists between its academic ranking, which was 21 in U.S. News and World Report in 2010, and its endowment ranking.
“Gifts to our endowment help to bridge that disparity. It is only through philanthropic support that the university endowment will catch up to and remain viable against the endowments of our academic peers,” the Office of Advancement announced in a statement. “As the endowment grows, it will allow Georgetown to be even more competitive in attracting the best students and faculty.”
The university is also looking to raise additional money to contribute to its growth through the launch of a new capital campaign later this year, according to university spokeswoman Julie Bataille. The campaign will likely be made public this coming October, although efforts to raise money have already begun.
“We are now in what is called ‘the quiet phase’ of the campaign and have raised approximately $650 million to date,” Bataille said in an email. “Last year we launched the 1789 Scholarship Imperative to specifically raise funds to support student financial aid and scholarships.”
The 1789 Scholarship Imperative aims to provide financial aid to all students with demonstrated need. The program is specifically intended to raise $500 million by 2014, which would support 1,789 students annually with $25,000 in scholarships. It would also increase the number of scholarships funded through philanthropy, according to the 1789 Scholarship Imperative’s website.
The imperative reached a total of 692 scholarships funded by philanthropy for the 2010 fiscal year, a little more than one-third of its goal.