NACUBO annually measures endowment earnings of 832 participating U.S. colleges and universities. The 2014 survey, which compares foundations such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton, puts the USD Foundation (USDF) ahead of all other participating colleges and universities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming and Idaho.

The 832 institutions participating in this year’s study represented $516 billion in endowment assets as of June 30, 2014. At $206,978,000, the USD Foundation endowment is listed top 300 in the national ranking size of the reporting institutions.

The USD Foundation posted a return of 19.3 percent (net of fees) as compared to an average of 15.5 percent among all participants. Those institutions’ trailing three-year returns averaged 9.0 percent as compared to USDF’s 11.7 percent; trailing five-year returns averaged 11.8 percent, with USDF at 15.0 percent; and trailing 10-year returns averaged 7.1 percent as compared to USDF’s 8.9 percent.

The annual NCSE analyzes return data and a broad range of related information gathered from private and public U.S. colleges and universities and institution-related support foundations. The size and scope of the study makes it the most comprehensive annual report on the investment management and governance practices and policies of institutions of higher education across the U.S.

Nearly 35 percent of USD students received scholarships in FY 2014. The effective spending rate that year for scholarships and programs by participating institutions was 4.4 percent. The Foundation’s effective spending rate was 4.09 percent.

While some institutions don’t emphasize building their endowments, USD Foundation CEO Steve Brown, says that Onward: The Campaign for South Dakota — the foundation’s seven-year $250 million fundraising campaign — seeks to significantly grow the endowment. “In the short term we strive to meet the funding challenges of the university while adhering to a principle of building intergenerational equity for future generations of students.”

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The complete report is available for purchase to non-members.

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