Endowments Around the Ivies

A view of Widener Library from Harvard Yard shortly after sunrise.
A view of Widener Library from Harvard Yard shortly after sunrise.

With much talk focusing on Harvard posting impressive returns on their endowment, bringing the value of investments to $32 billion, it's natural to wonder how the other Ivys stack up. While each institution increased their holding with consistent returns, Harvard's total endowments still dwarfs its Ivy neighbors.Yale posted slightly higher returns on their investment, besting Harvard's 21.4% return with a 21.9% return of their own. While some Yalies might consider this a victory, Harvard's endowment still dominates the $19.4 billion that the Bulldogs now have. After sharp loses in 2009 due to what the New York Times referred to as "considerable investments" in real estate and commodities, Yale's diversification of investments has begun to pay off.

Not enjoying the same level of success as it's more well-known counterparts is Penn, whose returns of 18.6% still bested Cornell, but only brought their endowment to around $6.58 billion according to the Daily Pennsylvanian. Gaining over $1 billion within the fiscal year, Penn enjoyed similar success to the other Ivys.

Last for percent on returns, Cornell enjoyed a 17% raise in its endowment, bringing its total holdings to over $5.27 billion, according to the Cornell Chronicle. Also experiencing the same sizeable losses in 2009 that plagued the other Ivys, Cornell has slowly been growing its endowment in an effort to reach its previous $5.8 billion holdings.

Rounding out the pack for total endowment is Dartmouth, whose $3.4 billion holdings pales in comparison to the other Ivys on the list. Posting impressive gains of 18.4% over the fiscal year, according to the Dartmouth Office of Public Affairs, the endowment gained a seemingly small $415 million.

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