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Harvard Does Its Homework, Increases Its Endowment to $32.7 Billion

Harvard University students on campus in Cambridge, Mass.
Harvard University students on campus in Cambridge, Mass.Photograph by Gretchen Ertl/The New York Times via Redux

Looks like the Ivy League’s investment chiefs started doing their homework again. Harvard, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania have all reported double-digit endowment returns for their most recent fiscal year, a big improvement over the mediocre year earlier, when Harvard managed to lose money in an up market.

Harvard gained 11.3 percent to bring its endowment to $32.7 billion, the biggest in the country. Yale gained 12.5 percent and now has $20.8 billion, and Penn returned 14.4 percent. Their returns in the prior year were a negative 0.05 percent, a plus 5.8 percent, and a plus 1.6 percent, respectively. The other members of the conference have yet to announce their figures. Schools beyond the Ivy League did well, too: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology gained 11.1 percent, and Bowdoin’s 16 percent return pushed its endowment above the $1 billion mark for the first time.