Financial Overview

The University of Notre Dame is blessed with many fine campus traditions. One tradition that goes mostly unnoticed—and rightfully so—is the University’s practice of conservative fiscal management.

John Affleck-Graves

Although the current economy continues to present unique challenges, our tradition of fiscal prudence guides the University through difficult times such as these; allowing cherished campus traditions to flourish as they’re passed from one class to another; providing the best possible teaching and learning environment for faculty and students; positioning us to make significant progress against the University’s major goals as highlighted by Fr. Jenkins in his letter at the beginning of this report; and, preserving assets for future generations.

In 2012 Notre Dame saw total unrestricted giving increase to $37.8 million, a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 6.02 percent since 2002. This revenue has positively impacted important priorities such as study abroad opportunities, undergraduate research, residential life, service projects, intramural sports, and spiritual formation.

The Office of Undergraduate Enrollment saw fall 2012 applications increase 2.5 percent to 16,957, a record number for the University. The median SAT of 1440 for the first year class is one of the highest in Notre Dame’s history. In fact, 88 percent graduated high school in the top 10 percent of their class, with 48 percent in the top 2 percent of their class. And, at 31.6 percent, the class is also more culturally diverse than any incoming class in the University’s history. This improvement in both the academic quality and diversity of our students is due in large part to a more personalized admissions process, stronger visitation programs, and increases in financial aid services. In 1999, we began to meet the full demonstrated need of undergraduate students, and in 2012, we awarded $106 million in need-based financial aid. These students not only enhance the traditions we enjoy today, but will establish new traditions the Notre Dame family will celebrate in the years to come.

Research at the University also proved record-breaking in 2012. Externally sponsored research expenditures exceeded $100 million for the first time in a fiscal year, adding to Notre Dame’s already rich tradition of research excellence, while moving the University closer to our ultimate goal of serving the common good as a preeminent Catholic research university.

A core element of our fiscally conservative approach is our unwavering commitment to risk management. As such, the University has a cross-functional committee of senior leaders who meet regularly year-round to identify potential risks, develop action plans to mitigate risk, and track progress against those plans.

Coming off the highly successful Spirit campaign that raised over $2 billion, Notre Dame is building unprecedented momentum. While the world’s economy continues to require careful monitoring, our confidence of mission and our tradition of conservative fiscal management have positioned us to meet the demands of our students today and the demands of their children tomorrow, while maximizing the role Notre Dame can play as a source for good within higher education, the community, our country, and the world.

Executive Vice President

“Our confidence of mission and our tradition of conservative fiscal management have positioned us to meet the demands of our students today and the demands of their children tomorrow.” —JOHN F. AFFLECK-GRAVES
Executive Vice President