Operating Budget

2021–22: $2,516,095,000
2022–23 (projected): $2,656,660,000

The total operating budget for 2021–22 included funding for sponsored research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), which totals $145 million. PPPL operates on a federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2022.

Income and Expenditures, 2021–22

All percentages rounded

Income % Amount (in thousands)
Endowment payout and other investment income 61% $1,525,483
Student fees 17% $433,671
Sponsored research 16% $408,201
Auxiliary activities and service income 4% $106,308
Gifts and other income, net of transfers 2% $42,432
Expenditures % Amount (in thousands)
Academic departments 32% $818,467
Physical facilities/strategic initiatives 27% $668,607
Student aid 15% $374,974
Administrative services 12% $297,322
Library/Computing/Museum 7% $171,450
PPPL 6% $145,000
Athletics 1% $40,275

The Endowment

The endowment is the financial foundation that underpins the University’s teaching and research mission and supports Princeton’s exceptional financial aid program, which makes it possible for students from all backgrounds to live and learn at the University without incurring debt.

Princeton’s endowment is the fifth-largest in the country, with a portfolio value of $37.9 billion as of March 31, 2022. The earnings from the endowment cover approximately two-thirds of the University’s annual operating budget and help fund the University’s highest priority strategic initiatives, while preserving real value for future generations. To pursue this goal, the endowment maintains an equity-biased portfolio and seeks to partner with best-in-class investment management firms across diverse asset categories.

The annualized return on Princeton’s endowment  —  defined as “dividends and interest on portfolio holdings, plus or minus capital appreciation or depreciation” —  is estimated to be just under 12% over the 25-year period ending June 30, 2022.