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Ivy endowments return average 11.8% in 2018

Princeton University led the eight Ivy League schools with a 14.2% fiscal year 2018 return, followed by Brown University's 13.2% and Penn's 12.9%. Over the 12-month period, Princeton's assets rose 8.8% net of spending to $25.9 billion. The university also reported an alternatives-heavy asset allocation, typical to large endowments, with 52% of its assets invested in private equity and hedge funds and only 20% in traditional equity and fixed income.

Additionally, Princeton, Yale and Harvard were the only endowments in the group to top their FY 2017 returns. Yale returned 12.3% in 2018, while Harvard returned 10%, improvements of 1 and 1.9 percentage points, respectively.

Harvard led the Ivy League in total assets with $39.2 billion, followed by Yale's $29.4 billion.