The CFO and VP for Finance address some of SGA’s questions on finances at Barnard.

External Announcements:

  • If you are staying on campus over the summer be sure to fill out the form if you want to keep your mailbox open during the summer.

The AY 2023 operating budget is $289.4M and funds the following:

  • Need-blind financial aid
  • Continued COVID testing and Q/I meals
  • Faculty, administrator, and staff growth with merit and contractual increases
  • Increased campus activities and participation in Study Abroad to pre-pandemic levels

Barnard College’s endowment was $447.5M as of June 2022 and $459.8M as of January 2023

  • $21.3M to be transferred from the endowment in FY 2023 to support 7.2% of the operating budget (“annual draw”)
  • $9.5 million of the annual draw is specifically for financial aid

The purpose is to support the College’s mission now and in the future and create intergenerational equity: making today’s students and future students benefit equally from the endowment.

The endowment is governed by the College’s Board of Trustees’ Committee on Investments which is composed of highly accomplished professionals in the field. They are actively engaged in the oversight and management of the endowment.

Barnard’s endowment is too small to manage in-house. The endowment is managed by using an Outsourced Chief Investment Office (“OCIO”) model. Companies like Goldman Sachs and Partners Capital, manage the endowment on a discretionary basis. Investment decisions made by the OCIOs are guided by the College’s Investment Policy Statement which includes specific risk and liquidity targets. Liquidity is key to allowing the annual endowment funding to the operating budget. Managing the endowment in-house is too costly for a school our size.

Barnard’s endowment seems to be the lowest out of all select liberal arts colleges because most of them started on an endowment and Barnard did not.

Under the College’s need-blind admissions policy, over the past six years, financial aid has increased from $42M in 2017 to $62M in 2023. In 2023, only ~$9.5M is covered by proceeds from the endowment. The rest of the financial aid expenditures are either covered by annual fundraising or annual operating funds. The Schuler Access Initiative award provides current-use (non-endowment) financial aid funding for undocumented and Pell-eligible students.

Some questions that were asked during the meeting are answered below:

How much money would need to be donated to relieve student loans?

Barnard would need a 50 million dollar endowment donation to relieve student loans and it has to be made specifically for relieving loans.

What happens if the financial aid need is too large for its budget? Is there a cap on financial aid abilities?

They are dedicated to Barnard being a school with need-blind admissions. If the financial aid needs are greater then the budget will increase alongside it.

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