Student financial aid receives largest share of spending distribution from Notre Dame’s endowment

Author: Dennis Brown


Spending distributions for the 2019 fiscal year from the University of Notre Dame’s endowment amounted to $426 million, with the largest area of spending — nearly one-third of the total — going to student financial aid.

“We are committed to outstanding stewardship of our donors’ generosity with prudent investment and spending policies,” said Scott Malpass, vice president and chief investment officer. “The growth of the endowment provides ever-increasing resources for financial aid, and also for the great work being done by our students and faculty around the world.”

Notre Dame’s endowment pool returned 7.2 percent for the 2019 fiscal year, ending the year with a value of $13.8 billion compared to $13.1 billion at the prior June 30.

Over the past 20 years, the annualized return of the Notre Dame endowment pool was 10 percent, placing its long-term results in the top tier of institutional investors. Over that same period, a 60/40 index blend of stocks and bonds returned 5.5 percent. On this basis, the University’s actively managed investment program created value-added compared to the 60/40 index blend of $8.3 billion for the 20 years. Additionally, spending distributions over that period in support of the University’s mission were $4.6 billion, and grew at an annualized rate of 9.5 percent.

In the current academic year, Notre Dame will distribute more than $154 million in need-based grant aid for undergraduate students, an amount that has more than doubled since 2009. Nearly half of the University’s students receive such aid, which does not require repayment, and the median grant amount for first-year students with demonstrated financial need is $42,600.