In a recent article, Pensions & Investments takes a closer look at the mixed results among university endowments. From performance alone, the largest endowments benefited from access to private investments. On the other hand, smaller and midsize endowments experienced financial challenges and are prioritizing liquidity, as it’s the primary source of concern, especially for those struggling before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andy Daly, Managing Director, Investment Strategist, said the universities struggling the most are those without a specialty angle in rural areas. “They don’t have a large potential student population in close proximity (and) they were already feeling the impact quite a bit from demographic trends.” There is not only revenue loss from enrollment and attendance, but from the lack of facility revenues, book stores, and events that promote giving. Many universities lack the flexibility needed to evaluate different sources of liquidity to “balance the financial equation.”

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