Endowment Spending Rates over Time

Endowment spending rates fluctuate from year to year, but there has been a downward trend from an average of 5.0% in 2001-02 to 4.3% in 2015-16.

Figure 16B: Average Reported Spending Rates for College and University Endowments by Endowment Size, 2000-02 to 2015-16

Figure 16B represents Average Reported Spending Rates for College and University Endowments by Endowment Size, 2001-02 to 2015-16. For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, download the Excel spreadsheet.

Notes & Sources 

SOURCE: National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), 2016 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowment.

  • The highest-endowment institutions increased their spending rates during the Great Recession, reaching 5.6% to 5.7% in 2009-10. But in 2015-16, spending rates ranged from 3.8% for institutions with endowments below $25 million to 4.4% for institutions with endowments exceeding $1 billion.