Assets and Performance
Endowment Market Value
Total endowed funds as of June 30, 2021, were $1,272.4 million, as compared to $936.6 million the previous year—an increase of $335.8 million. The change in total value from year to year is the result of changes in the market value of investments, gifts received from donors, and the endowment spending payout. The payout from the endowment supports Oberlin’s operating budget and provides long-term funding for student financial aid, faculty compensation, and academic programs.
Endowment Market Value (20 Year Trend)
Historical Spending for Operations
The endowment’s core strategy strives to increase the real value of the endowment, provide a dependable stream of support to the institution’s annual operating budget, and achieve earnings at a sustainable rate over the long term while seeking to provide predictability and stability of endowment spending that is essential for long-range planning.
Historically, the endowment has provided approximately 20 percent of Oberlin’s annual operating budget. However, due to the pandemic’s continued effect on operations in fiscal year 2021, the Board of Trustees approved additional operational support of $18.5 million—a remarkable instance of financial flexibility and sustainability in challenging times, and a testament to the strength of Oberlin’s endowment.
Historical Spending for Operations (10-Year Trend)
In fiscal year 2021, Oberlin’s net total investment return for the endowment was 42.8 percent as compared to a total net return in fiscal year 2020 of 4.9 percent, resulting in a top quartile ranking across the institution’s peer group.
Endowment and Benchmark Returns
Accessible data table
|1 year||3 year||5 year||10 year|
|70% ACWI/30% BC Agg||26.3%||12.1%||11.3%||8.2%|
Average Annual Compound Returns (All Endowments)
The Y axis shows return percent, and the X axis shows 4 categories: 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years. For each category, a shaded column indicates the range of returns for all institutions, divided into quartiles. Oberlin's return is plotted as a point in the column. In each time period, Oberlin's return falls in the top quartile.
The height of each column shrinks as the time period gets longer, indicating reduced variance for longer time periods.
- In the 1-year category, returns range from a low of about 27% to a high of about 52%, with the median at 36%. Oberlin's return of 42.8 is in the top quartile.
- In the 3-year category, returns range from 10% to about 19%, with the median at about 13%. Oberlin's return of 17.4 is in the top quartile.
- In the 5-year category, returns range from 10% to about 17%, with the median at about 12%. Oberlin's return of 15.6 is in the top quartile.
- In the 5-year category, returns range from about 7% to about 12%, with the median at about 9%. Oberlin's return of 10.5 is in the top quartile.
Oberlin’s endowment has a highly diversified portfolio with allocations to fixed income/cash, public equity, and alternative strategies that include hedge funds, private equity venture capital, and real assets. Following is the college’s long-term strategic target and actual endowment portfolio allocation for the year ending June 30, 2021.
|Asset Allocation||Strategic Target %||Actual %|
|Cash and cash equivalents||5.0||6.2|
|Developed markets equity||27.0||26.0|
|Emerging markets equity||6.0||5.9|
All data provided on this page is updated with audited financial statements and publicly released surveys on an annual basis as of June 30.