Operating Budget

Major Categories of Revenue

Tuition and fees net of financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students account for 57% of total operating revenue.

Student housing and dining contribute 10% of operating revenue, while all other auxiliary operations account for 2% 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 revenue budget. (The market value of NYU's total endowment at August 31, 2015 was approximately $3.5 billion, of which, $828 million was for the NYU Langone Medical Center.)

The budget assumes a total return on endowment investments of 6%. Distributions from endowment to support operations are calculated using the fiscal 2015 distribution amount plus 0.3%, which was the increase in the New York Metro Area CPI for the twelve months ending December 31, 2014. This results in a per-unit appropriation amount of 4.8% of the 12 quarter average market value, and 4.5% of its value at December 31, 2014.

Income from commercial real estate represents 2% of the revenue budget.

Sponsored research accounts for 5% of total revenue, and sponsored educational programs account for 11% of the total.

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

All other sources of revenue total 3%. 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 salaries and employee fringe benefits comprise 54% of all expenses.
  • Operation and maintenance of the physical plant accounts for 17% of the expense budget, divided as follows: 2% for energy, 5% for rent, 6% for debt service, and 4% for cleaning, building maintenance contracts, and all other expenses.
  • General operating expenses account for 16% of the budget.
  • Three 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.
  • Sponsored Research expenses account for 4% of the expense budget.
  • General contingency and a reserve for academic investments designated by the Provost account for 1% of the budget.

Expenditures by Purpose

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

  • Expenditures by schools and institutes comprise 62% of the total budget.
  • Facilities management and campus safety account for 14% of total expenditures, divided as follows: 5% for student housing, 1% for faculty housing, and 8% for academic buildings and general infrastructure.
  • The direct cost of auxiliary operations, including student housing, dining, and residential education, account for 4% 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 7% of the total expense budget and include budgets for services such as development and alumni relations, human resources, finance, legal, and contingencies.
  • Sponsored Research expenses make up 4% of the budget.
  • Provostial operations, including such units as the offices of the Provost, Admissions and Financial Aid, Institutional Research, Registrar, Executive Vice President for Health and Senior Vice Provost for Research, represent 3% of total expenditures. This expense category also includes budgetary reserves for academic initiatives.
  • Information technology services accounts for 4% of the total, and student affairs accounts for 2%.
Photo: NYC

Undergraduate Student Charges

The combined rate of increase in undergraduate tuition and fees in the fiscal 2016 budget over the prior year is 3.4%, while the rate of increase for room and board charges for a typical arrangement of an entering freshman is 4.7%. Although the over-all rate of increase in room and board is 3.5%, a change in the inventory of dorm rooms for freshman due to the return to service of Hayden Hall results in a higher average rate for freshmen. Compared with 25 peer private non-profit institutions, NYU’s rates of increase for tuition and fees are below the group’s median and mean.

Endowment per Student

In a national study by NACUBO of 810 college and university endowments at June 30, 2014, NYU's total endowment (including the School of Medicine) was the 18th largest in total size among private universities, but 182nd in endowment per student (or $89,000 per student).  

Endowment Performance

The Endowment is invested with a long-term orientation. For the five years ended August 31, 2015, the Fund delivered an annualized return of 7.7% per year, outperforming a passive 60/40 blended of global stocks and bonds, which returned 6.5% over the same period. For further information, please visit the Investment Office webpage.


The University employs approximately 9,000 individuals in academic positions as full-time and part-time faculty members and researchers, and approximately 5,500 individuals as full-time and part-time technical, clerical, service, and administrative employees at its Washington Square campus alone. In addition, the University employs approximately 8,000 part-time students in hourly positions throughout the year.


During the Fall 2015 semester, the University enrolled 58,061 students at all campuses – New York, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Of that number, 27,437 were undergraduate students, 24,305 were graduate and professional students (including the School of Medicine), and 6,319 were non-credit students.