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Stanford sees fiscal year return on investments of 13.1 percent


Stanford made a 13.1 percent return on its investments the past fiscal year, slightly above the 12.9 return-on-investment that U.S. higher education institutions as a whole experienced during that same period.

(SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily).

The latest fiscal year’s return-on-investment is a marked change from the previous year’s, when the Merged Pool of total investments overseen by the Stanford Management Company gave a return of -0.4 percent. That -0.4 percent was still higher than the median return of -2.9 percent for all colleges and universities in the country.

According to the Stanford Management Company — which invests a total of $26.9 billion comprised of money from Stanford’s endowment as well the long-term financial resources of its hospitals — the Merged Pool returned $3.2 billion in the 12 months ending June 30.

“Although comprising only a quarter of the total portfolio, public equity holdings led our result with very strong absolute and relative performance,” Robert Wallace, chief executive officer of Stanford Management Company, told Stanford News.

Meanwhile, the University’s endowment stood at $24.8 billion at the end of August, up almost 11 percent from $22.4 billion the same time in 2016.  In contrast, in the 2015-16 fiscal year, the endowment grew by about 0.8 percent.

Throughout the past fiscal year, $1.2 billion of the endowment, or slightly more than five percent of its starting value, was directed toward academic costs and financial aid. As The Daily explained in its recent overview of the endowment, the hefty fund supports about half of all financial aid at any given time and offsets tuition costs by covering part of faculty salaries and other expenses.


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Hannah Knowles is senior staff writer from San Jose who served as Volume 253 Editor-in-Chief. Prior to that, she managed The Daily's news section.