University | 9:16 pm | October 17, 2012 | By Sophie Gould

Dartmouth, Columbia endowments post subdued returns

Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Dartmouth College posted a 5.8 percent return on its investments for the latest fiscal period Tuesday, taking the lead in Ivy League endowment performances so far this year.

Dartmouth’s return exceeds both Yale’s 4.7 percent performance and Columbia’s 2.3 percent return, which was announced Monday. Columbia’s endowment, which posted the best return among the Ivy League during fiscal years 2010 and 2011, still outperformed those of three other Ivies reported in the past month: Harvard University experienced a 0.05 percent loss in fiscal year 2012, while Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania posted 1 percent and 1.6 percent returns, respectively.

Despite their positive returns on investments, the value of both Yale’s and Columbia’s endowments declined in value in fiscal year 2012 due to spending distributions. Yale’s endowment, the second largest in higher education, dropped by $100 million, amounting to $19.3 billion as of June 30. Columbia’s endowment fell from $7.8 billion to $7.65 billion during the same time frame.

Bucking the trend, Dartmouth’s endowment rose by $73 million, in part due to gifts. As of June 30, Dartmouth’s endowment was valued at $3.49 billion.

Cornell University and Princeton University are the only members of the Ivy League that have not yet announced their endowment figures.

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