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Annual Payout Rate

The primary purpose of the Endowment is to provide a predictable and financially sustainable source of funding to support the University’s mission. The spending guideline calculates the amount of the Endowment Northwestern spends for this purpose each year. Starting with the average market value of the Endowment for the previous 12 months, the spending guideline incorporates the following weighted factors to set an annual Endowment payout rate:

The market component is calculated by multiplying the long-term target-spending rate of 4.35 percent by the Endowment's average market value for the prior 12 months. This component carries a weight of 30 percent in the spending rate calculation.

The spending component includes an inflation adjustment over the prior year's Endowment payout plus the annual projected growth of the budget. This change in the annual Endowment payout carries a weight of 70 percent.

The calculated payout rate (including administrative and management fees) was 4.4 percent for fiscal year 2021.  For fiscal year 2022, the per-unit spending rate will be increased by 2.3 percent to $11.30 per unit.