15.7% Endowment Return Increases Student Financial Aid at Bowdoin


Bowdoin College’s endowment, nearly half of which is permanently limited by donors to support student financial aid, generated a return on investment of 15.7% for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018.

In the current fiscal year, endowment distributions will fund approximately three-quarters of Bowdoin’s $ 41.6 million financial aid budget. Of the total distribution of the endowment in 2017-18, approximately $ 29 million supported financial assistance. Other donor-restricted distributions have been used to support chairs and teaching, conferences, museums, library and book purchases, and technology.

“Our endowment is the lifeblood of Bowdoin’s No Loan, No Needs, No Needs Financial Aid program – a program that sets Bowdoin apart and simply changes lives by enabling any deserving student – whatever their circumstances. financial – to study here, to learn and to lead, ”said Bowdoin chairman Clayton Rose. “These exceptional investment results are another testament to the exceptional work of CIO and Senior Vice President of Investments Paula Volent and her very capable team, as well as the discipline and foresight of our committee. investment.”

Bowdoin’s return on investment of 15.7% compares to the median return of 8.3% for all college and university endowments during this period, as reported by Cambridge Associates, a company that tracks the performance of foundations and national endowments. As of June 30, 2018, the three-, five- and ten-year annualized returns of Bowdoin’s endowment were 8.6%, 11.8% and 8.8%, respectively, all in the first percentile of comparative college annualized returns and universities, where the respective median returns were 6.1%, 7.3% and 5.5%.

As of June 30, 2018, Bowdoin’s endowment was valued at $ 1.63 billion. During the 2017-18 fiscal year, the College transferred approximately $ 16.5 million in donations and other endowment additions. The endowment provided $ 63.2 million to the College’s annual operations, and because the actual cost of educating a student at Bowdoin is 36% higher than overhead, the endowment subsidizes every student, not just those who receive assistance.

“The endowment represents a commitment of generations of Bowdoin alumni, parents, friends and other donors to advancing excellence at the College today and into the future, despite the inevitable swings in the financial markets. Rose said. “We use these resources every day to support almost every aspect of our mission – to innovate and improve, make long-term commitments, fund our operations and most of all – and most importantly – ensure access to a Bowdoin education for those with low incomes. returned. and middle-income families.

Bowdoin is one of eighteen colleges or universities across the country to offer a combination of need-based student aid, a commitment to meeting the full needs of our students over four years, and a “no-loan” policy. , which means that since 2008, the College does not require loans in its financial aid programs. Today, 51% of Bowdoin’s freshman class receive need-based financial aid, a percentage that is expected to increase. The average grant for all assisted students – funds that do not have to be repaid – is almost $ 45,000 per year.

Bowdoin’s endowment consists of over 1,700 individual funds earmarked for the ongoing support of a variety of College initiatives. The endowment portfolio is diversified across different asset classes including domestic and international equities, fixed income, private equity, real estate and absolute return strategies. All asset classes are invested via a selection of external managers or via market indices. The portfolio is structured with a long-term time horizon, with portfolio diversification and a selection of managers aimed at protecting endowment capital in difficult investment environments, while growing these assets during periods of stability and weakness. economic growth.