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Operating Budget Detail

Major Categories of Revenue

Tuition and fees net of financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students account for 56% of total operating revenue.

Student housing and dining contribute 10% of operating revenue, while all other auxiliary operations account for 5% of the total.

Expendable philanthropic contributions account for 4% of total revenue for operations. Gifts to endowment and gifts for construction (i.e., not expendable for operations) are in addition to this total.

Endowment distributions, combined with earnings on short-term investments of operating cash balances, provide 4% of the Washington Square Campus revenue budget. (The market value of NYU's total endowment at August 31, 2011 was approximately $2.7 billion; $1.9 billion of this total was for the Washington Square campus, and $798 million was for the School of Medicine.)

The University's planning assumes total return on endowment investments of 6%. Distributions from endowment to support operations are generally calculated as 5.0% of the endowment’s 12 quarter (three years) average market value. The calculation of the average market value is capped such that the distribution of endowment income may not exceed the previous year's distribution by more than 10%.

Income from commercial real estate represents 3% of the revenue budget. 

Sponsored research accounts for 6% of total revenue, while sponsored educational programs account for 5% of the total.

Clinical income from dental patient care provides 2% of operating revenue.

All other sources of revenue total 5%. This category includes many relatively small items such as service payments from the School of Medicine, annual appropriations from the State of New York, and transfers from non-operating funds.

Major Categories of Expense

  • Expenditures for operation and maintenance of the physical plant (e.g., debt service, rent, energy, cleaning, building maintenance contracts, etc.) account for 19% of the expense budget, divided as follows: 12% for energy, 25% for rent, 35% for debt service, and 28% for cleaning, building maintenance contracts, and all other expenses. 
  • General operating expenses account for 18% of the budget. 
  • Four percent of the budget is transferred to non-operating funds, primarily the capital fund for construction and information technology projects. 
  • Professional services and fees make up 5% of the expense budget. 
  • Three percent of the budget is designated for contingency and academic investments designated by the Provost. 
  • Expenditures for salaries and employee fringe benefits comprise 51% of all expenses.

Expenditures by Purpose

Another way to view the expense budget is by purpose of expenditures.

  • Expenditures by schools and institutes comprise 66% of the total budget. 
  • Facilities management and campus safety account for 13% of total expenditures, divided as follows: 3% for student housing, 1% for faculty housing, and 9% for academic buildings and general infrastructure. 
  • The direct cost of auxiliary operations, including student housing, dining, and residential education, account for 5% of the total budget. When the fully allocated costs of facilities management and administrative operations are added, the expenses of auxiliary operations more closely match the revenue from auxiliary operations. 
  • Administrative units comprise 8% of the total expense budget and include budgets for services such as development and alumni relations, human resources, finance, legal, and contingencies. 
  • Provostial operations, including such units as the offices of Provosts, Admissions and Financial Aid, Institutional Research, Registrar, EVP Health and SVP Research, represent 2% of total expenditures. 
  • Information technology services and student affairs each account for 3% of the total. 


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Undergraduate Student Charges

The combined rate of increase in undergraduate tuition and fees in the fiscal 2012 budget over the prior year is 3.8%. Compared with 25 peer private non-profit institutions, NYU’s rate of increase was the same as the group’s median. The rate of increase for room and board charges for a typical arrangement of an entering freshman was 3.1%, below both the median and the average rates of increase of the comparison group. A recent survey by Campus Grotto ranks NYU’s charge for tuition and fees as 62nd among private non-profit colleges and universities in the United States. NYU’s cost of student housing, however, is higher than most universities, due to its location in New York City.

Undergraduate financial aid increases by 3.8% in fiscal 2012. This follows several years of double digit increases that significantly outpaced the rate of increase in student charges.

Endowment per Student

In a national study of 518 private institutions' endowments at June 30, 2011, NYU's total endowment (including the School of Medicine) was the 18th largest in total size, but 163rd in endowment per student (or $75,003 per student).

Endowment Performance

The Endowment maintains a long-term orientation. However, for the single fiscal year ended August 31, 2011, the Fund enjoyed a return of 13.3%, and outperformed the blended benchmark return of 9.9% by 340 basis points. On a risk adjusted basis the Fund performed very well in the period, with its diversification and active management contributing to a return that was similar to the global equity market return of 14.3%, while incurring only one-third the equity market level of volatility. 


In the Fall 2011 semester, the University employs approximately 8,100 individuals in academic positions as full-time and part-time faculty members and researchers, and approximately 5,000 individuals as full-time and part-time technical, clerical, service, and administrative employees. In addition, throughout fiscal 2012, the University is likely to employ approximately 8,000 part-time students in hourly positions. 

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