Yale earned a 12.5 percent return on its investments during the fiscal year that ended June 30, the University announced today.

The size of the Yale endowment rose from $19.3 billion to $20.8 billion over the course of the 2013 fiscal year, as investment returns and donations more than fully offset the University’s expenses. The increase brings the endowment closer to the high-water mark of roughly $23 billion it reached before losing nearly a quarter of its value following the onset of the economic recession in 2008.

The 2013 fiscal year return is significantly greater than the 4.7 percent performance the University posted for the prior fiscal period. Experts interviewed said they expect fiscal 2013 will prove to have been a good year for college endowments nationwide because of the strong performance of financial markets.

Yale also spent more than $1 billion during the 2013 fiscal year, according to the press release.
Most of Yale’s peer schools have not released their 2013 returns, but the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently posted 11.1 percent, the University of Pennsylvania reported 14.4 percent and Bowdoin College posted 16 percent.

Yale’s endowment generated returns of 13.5 percent per year over the past two decades, compared to an estimated 8.7 percent average return for college and university endowments.