The “2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments” showed endowments for U.S. colleges and universities returned an average of -0.3%
(net of fees) for the 2012 fiscal year (July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012). This
was a large decline from the average return of 19.2% for the 2011 fiscal year.
However, over the longer term, the study found 10-year
returns were 6.2% in 2012 compared with 5.6% in the 2011
fiscal year. This suggested to the study authors that long-term performance for
many institutions continues to improve.
“This year’s data show the re-emergence of a number of
long-term trends in the sector,” said John D. Walda, NACUBO president and CEO, and
John S. Griswold, Commonfund Institute executive director, in a joint
statement. “Over the years, institutions with the largest endowments have
reported the highest one-year returns. This trend can be seen once again in
this year’s data, as well as data for the trailing periods.”