The following piece is intended to better inform those in the Princeton Seminary community about the Seminary’s finances. Unless otherwise noted, the figures included herein relate to the Seminary’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.
- Princeton Theological Seminary is a nonprofit organization, called to exercise faithful stewardship over the assets entrusted to it in order to fulfill its mission. The Seminary is and has always been a distinct legal entity, independent and separate from Princeton University.
- The Seminary’s annual budget approximates $52 million.
- PTS is blessed to have a large endowment, which currently approximates $800 million. Withdrawals from the endowment, also known as endowment “draws”, fund over seventy-three percent of total budget expenditures in fiscal year 2009–10. Typically endowment funds in institutions of higher education support a much lower percentage of annual budgets. Other sources of revenue include contributions, grants and auxiliary services revenues such as rent and board charges.
- Mainline denominational seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools incur expenses on average of nearly $50,000 per year for each full-time student. The amount expended by Princeton Seminary is even greater, due in part to its largely residential character, its relatively generous student aid packages, the level of employee salaries and benefits and its low student to faculty ratio. In 2009–2010, PTS is spending over $83,000 per full-time student, even after netting out certain expenditures not directly related to currently enrolled students. The amount of tuition charged a full-time student ($9,750) is approximately 11.7 percent of what it actually costs ($83,000) to annually provide for the education of a Princeton Seminary student.
- Few students actually pay more than a modest amount of tuition at Princeton Seminary. In 2009–2010, ninety-two percent of full-time PTS Master of Divinity, Master of Arts and dual degree students receive student aid from the Seminary. Of those students receiving aid this year, ninety-four percent receive Seminary grants equal to at least ninety percent of tuition.
- When students in all of its degree programs are considered, the Seminary annually pays out hundreds of thousands of dollars more in student aid than it charges for tuition. In 2009–2010 for instance, budgeted student aid exceeds tuition income by $500,000. While many seminaries are enrollment driven, PTS is not.
- In order to limit the amount of indebtedness students incur while studying at PTS, the Seminary substantially subsidizes services for students such as housing, health insurance and childcare. The estimated subsidy for these three services alone in 2009–10 is well over $3 million.
- The cost of health care in the Princeton area is among the highest in the nation, higher than in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. In 2009–2010, individual students pay a fee of $2,385 for health insurance coverage under the Seminary’s student insurance plan. The full cost of comparable coverage, absent Seminary subsidy, is estimated to be two to three times this amount.
- The student to faculty and visiting lecturer ratio in 2009–2010 is 11.8. This low ratio is made possible largely due to expenditures for faculty salaries funded by the endowment.
- In order to preserve the endowment’s purchasing power, sufficient gains (interest, dividends and capital appreciation) must be generated on an ongoing basis to offset the sum of budget withdrawals (“draws”) plus inflation.
- The Seminary’s paramount budgeting goal is to preserve “intergenerational equity” such that its mission can be carried on for years to come, and that generations of future students will benefit from a similar educational experience and be able to receive assistance similar to that received by today’s students.
- The Seminary has an obligation to its donors to preserve in perpetuity the value of gifts made to the endowment.
- Endowment management studies demonstrate that spending more than four percent to five percent of the value of an endowment in a given year will, over time, impair its purchasing power.
- Based on the Seminary’s endowment spending/draw rate, it takes the following amount of endowment in the 2009–2010 academic year to generate funds to pay for budget categories such as the following (this list is not intended to be comprehensive, and excludes a number of budget categories):
|Faculty salaries and academic support||$181 million|
|Student financial aid||$120 million|
|Library expenditures||$ 69 million|
|Technological services||$ 62 million|
|Bond payments (initial borrowing incurred to fund certain building projects)||$ 55 million|
|Capital budget expenditures||$ 47 million|
|Continuing education||$ 32 million|
- Despite successful efforts in negotiating contracts, rapidly increasing costs in various areas have created budgeting pressures in recent years. Between 2004–2005 and 2009–2010, electricity costs have increased by eighty-two percent, heating costs by sixty-nine percent and employee medical insurance premiums by fifty-one percent.
- The mission of Princeton Seminary is to educate women and men called to ministry and service. During the 2009–2010 academic year, Princeton Seminary is educating 615 students. To provide this education and otherwise support its mission the Seminary employs 44 full-time and 26 part-time faculty members and 204 other employees.
- PTS maintains facilities located on approximately 170 acres that include over 100 buildings.