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Statement of Activities

Cornell’s Actual Current-Year Performance

The Statement of Activities records Cornell’s financial performance over a fiscal period. It details operating revenues, operating expenses, non-operating revenues and expenses, and changes in net assets. This report includes pledges, depreciation, and accruals (non-cash, long-term liabilities), and subsidiary income and expenses. In contrast, the Operating Budget includes cash payments on pledges, debt repayments, and omits accruals.

Operating Revenues: Cornell’s Mission-Related Income

Operating revenues include anticipated earnings related to Cornell’s mission of "learning, discovery, and engagement" along with services that support students and campus operations.


The most significant sources of operating revenue are tuition and fees after institutional grant aid, clinical practice income Weill Cornell Medicine, and government corporate, or private foundation funding for mission-related activities.


Operating Revenue table

Net Tuition and Fees: Student Tuition After Scholarship Allowance

Amount: $876M (FY 2022)

Net tuition and fees represent consideration received from students or participants in exchange for instruction or course credit, net of a scholarship allowance. 

Scholarship allowance (financial aid) is reclassified from expense to contra revenue, reducing tuition revenue for financial aid up to the total amount of tuition per student.

Financial aid is not allocated to auxiliary services or educational revenue (housing, dining, student health insurance, etc.).

Historical Tuition Rates

Tuition Rates
College 2021-2022 2020-2021 2019-20 2018-19
Endowed Ithaca $60,286 $58,586 $56,550 $54,584
Contract College - Resident $40,382 $39,244 $37,880 $36,564
Contract College – Nonresident $60,286 $58,586 $56,550 $54,584
Medical Campus $62,650 $61,110 $58,760 $57,050
Business $74,026 $71,940 $69,440 $66,290
Law $71,522 $70,188 $67,748 $65,456
Veterinary Medicine $39,206 $38,250 $37,136 $35,966

Fall Enrollment Totals

Fall Enrollment
Class 2021-2022 2020-2021 2019-20 2018-19
Undergraduate 15,503 14,743 15,043 15,182
Graduate 8,021 7,122 7,169 6,651
Total Fall Enrollment 3,429 24,942 25,354 24,848

State and Federal Appropriations

Amount: $152M (FY 2022)

Appropriations are typically awarded based on legislation and not through an application process.

State appropriations are funds distributed through the State University of New York (SUNY).

Federal appropriations are funds distributed through various federal agencies for land grant institutions like Cornell, used for agricultural education and research, other special research projects, and extension activities.

Federal financial aid, such as Pell grants and Perkins loans, is “passed through” Cornell and not considered revenue. This funding is recorded as either a payment on a receivable or as a liability.

Grants, Contracts, and Similar Agreements: Sponsored Funding

Amount: $1,088M (FY 2022)

Also known as sponsored programs revenue, grant and contract revenue is:

  • Generated from an external entity, such as a governmental agency, a corporation, or private foundation. 
  • Recorded as sponsored revenue when it is for an activity with a defined budget, a period of performance, and a scope of work undertaken by the university. Outcome expected to directly benefits the resource provider.
  • Earned and recognized when expenses have been incurred, except as otherwise provided for in the terms and conditions of the award.

Sponsored Funding by Major Source 


The majority of sponsored funding for research and mission-related activities comes from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the National Science Foundation, and non-federal foundations.


External Sponsor Funding by Major Source table

Contributions: Cash Gifts and Pledges

Amount: $303M (FY 2022)

Contributions or gifts include outright cash gifts and pledges (promises to give) to the university. These contributions, including unconditional promises to give, are recognized as revenues in the appropriate categories of net assets in the periods received. 

A pledge is recorded at the present value of estimated future cash flows, based on an appropriate discount rate determined by management at the time of the contribution. 

A contribution of assets other than cash is recorded at its estimated fair value on the date of the contribution. 

Contributions for capital projects, endowments, and similar funds are reported as non-operating revenues. 

Conditional promises to donate to the university are not recognized until the conditions are substantially met.

Investment Distribution

Amount: $344M (FY 2022)

The Board of Trustees, in consultation with the finance committee, is responsible for the university’s endowment payout (distribution) policy.

The board approves the endowment payout for the coming fiscal year at the January meeting.

The payout is set annually by the Board of Trustees within a range of 4.4% of a twenty-eight-quarter rolling average, plus or minus 0.75%.  Our target is not to exceed 5% of the twenty-eight-quarter value.

Endowment Payout

The endowment payout is:

  • Calculated and distributed monthly for current use.
  • Typically funded with current and accumulated earnings.
  • Calculated based on the end of month shares, multiplied by the annual payout rate, divided by twelve.
  • Posted as operating revenue to the investment returns, a distributed line on the Statement of Activities.
  • Classified as either unrestricted or restricted based on the donor’s designation, or permanently restricted if a donor requested payout be reinvested for a specified period of time.

Historical Withdrawals of the Long-Term Investment Pool (LTIP)

Payout (Withdrawal) Rates
Long-Term Investment FY22 Actual FY21 Actual FY20 Actual FY19 Actual FY18 Actual
LTI Rate of Return -1.3% 41.9% 1.90% 5.30% 10.60%
LTIP Annual Payout Rate per Share $2.39 $2.45 $2.45 $2.48 $2.58
LTIP Payout Distributed (millions) $301.84 $300.23 $292.40 $290.40 $296.40
LTIP Admin Fee (millions) $50.02 $49.78 $48.61 $44.30 $42.20
LTIP Special Distribution (millions)   $15.00 $86.30    
Total LTIP Withdrawal (millions) $351.86 $365.01 $427.31 $334.70 $338.60

Medical College Physician Income

Amount: $1,305M (FY 2022)

Weill Cornell Medicine's Medical Physician Organization income includes clinical practice income from professional services to patients and revenues generated by physician members conducting instructional and research activities.

Auxiliary Enterprise: Nonacademic Sales and Services

Amount: $174M (FY 2022)

An auxiliary enterprise is a non-academic entity that exists predominantly to furnish goods or services to students, faculty, or staff, and that charges a fee directly related to, although not necessarily equal to, the cost of the goods or services.  

The university’s auxiliary enterprises include housing, dining, conference services, and retail operations (Cornell Store).

Educational Activities Sales and Services: Academic-Related Sales and Services

Amount: $868M (FY 2022)

This amount includes revenues associated with non-credit education-related programs and other sales and service activities that occur in many units throughout the university.

Examples of such programs include executive education programs, Statler Hotel, Cornell University Hospital for Animals, royalty income, athletic programs and ticket revenue, rental income, student health insurance premiums, and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar.

Net Assets Released from Restrictions

Amount: $0 (FY 2022)

This amount represents the transfers of funds from temporarily restricted net assets to unrestricted net assets resulting from the satisfaction of donor-imposed stipulations concerning timing or purpose.

Operating Expenses: Cornell’s Mission-Related Spending

Operating expenses are costs incurred in fulfilling the Cornell’s primary mission of "learning, discovery, and engagement."


To fulfill Cornell's primary missions, operating expenses consist primarily of salary and benefits and maintenance costs for facilities and services. 


Operating Expenses table

Compensation and Benefits: Employee Salaries, Wages, and Benefits

Amount: $3,312M (FY 2022)

This amount includes salaries, wages, other compensation, and benefits for all non-contract college employees. 

The State of New York pays the benefits and accrued expenses for all contract college employees.

Historical Workforce Numbers

Academic Workforce Numbers
Academic 2021-2022 2020-2021 2019-20 2018-19
Full-time Faculty 4,472 4,376 4,234 4,064
Full-time Non-faculty 927 960 952 904
Part-time Faculty 256 266 291 326
Part-time Non-faculty 167 169 162 176
Total Academic Workforce 5,822 5,771 5,639 5,470

Nonacademic Workforce Numbers
Nonacademic 2021-2022 2020-2021 2019-20 2018-19
Full-time Employees 12,907 12,397 12,208 11,907
Part-time Employees 545 555 592 599
Total Nonacademic Workforce 13,452 12,952 12,800 12,506

Supplies, Services and Other Purchases

Amount: $1,181M (FY 2022)

This amount consists of expenses associated with:

  • Services contracted for and performed by a third party rather than the university’s internal staff. Examples of such expenses include search firms, technology companies, independent consultants, caterers, performers, etc.
  • Costs necessary to maintain the university’s daily operations and administer its business. Examples of such expense include office supplies, laboratory supplies, communication, travel, insurance, etc.

Maintenance and Facilities Costs

Amount: $156M (FY 2022)

This amount includes the costs of maintaining and operating the university’s physical plant.

Examples of these costs are utilities, routine and preventive maintenance, and lease rentals.

Interest Expenses

Amount: $34M (FY 2022)

This amount is the cost associated with any borrowings – bonds, loans, or lines of credit.

Depreciation: Assets

Amount: $303M (FY 2022)

This amount represents the planned, gradual reduction in the recorded value of assets over their useful lives by charging them to expense.

Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the useful life of an asset.

Non-Operating Revenues and Expenses: Cornell’s Non-Mission-Related Income and Spending

Non-operating revenues and expenses are not directly related to the university’s primary operating mission but represent activities that indirectly support its mission and are critical components of its financial performance.


Major non-operating revenues include the realized gains or losses and unrealized valuation adjustments (investment return) less the amounts used to support operating expenses, and resources that support facilities. Major non-operating expenses include pension and post-retirement benefits and valuation adjustments.


Non-Operating Revenue and Expenses table

State Appropriations for Capital Acquisitions

Amount: $16M (FY 2022)

State appropriations for capital acquisitions represents New York State’s appropriations for SUNY construction funding for capital projects on contract college buildings.

Grants and Contracts and Similar Agreements for Capital Acquisitions

Amount: $4M (FY 2022)

Grants, contracts and similiar agreements for capital acquisitions represents construction funds that at times may be provided by the New York City Economic Development Corporation or other government entities.

Contributions for Capital Acquisitions, Trusts, and Endowments

Amount: $404M (FY 2022)

Contributions for capital acquisitions, trusts, and endowment, represents gifts designated for non-operating purposes such as capital projects, trusts, and endowments.

Investment Return, Net of Amount Distributed

Amount: $-472M (FY 2022)

Investment return, net of amount distributed (after payout), consists of unrealized gains and losses on investments, any difference between total return and amounts appropriated from the pooled endowment, and income and realized gains reinvested per donor restrictions.

Change in Value of Split-Interest Agreements

Amount: $-18M (FY 2022)

Split-interest agreements are contributions, or gifts, that are shared by the university and other beneficiaries. Some examples include charitable gift annuities, pooled income funds, and charitable trusts for which serves as trustee. Assets held in trust are either separately invested or included in Cornell’s investment pools under the agreements. Contributions of split-interest agreements, net of related liabilities, increase net assets with donor restrictions. Liabilities associated with charitable gift annuities and charitable trusts represent the present value of the expected payments to the beneficiaries, based on the agreements’ terms. Pooled income funds are recognized at the net present value of the net assets expected at a future date. Gains or losses resulting from changes in fair value, changes in assumptions, and amortization of discount are recorded as changes in the value of split-interest agreements in the appropriate restriction categories in the non-operating section of the consolidated statement of activities.

Pension and Postretirement Changes

Amount: $125M (FY 2022)

This amount reflects the impact of actuarial changes in the liability for pensions and postretirement benefits for employees.

Swap Interest and Changes in Interest Rate Swap Values

Amount: $100M (FY 2022)

This line captures swap interest payments and any change in the fair value of the swaps due to changes in the discount rate.

An interest rate swap is a forward contract in which one stream of future interest payments is exchanged for another based on a specified principal amount. Interest rate swaps usually involve the exchange of a variable interest rate for a fixed interest rate to obtain a marginally lower interest rate than would have been possible without the swap.

Other Revenue and Expenses

Amount: $-18M (FY 2022)

This amount represents other revenue and expenses not categorized elsewhere.

Net Assets Released for Capital Acquisitions and Reclassification

Amount: $0 (FY 2022)

This amount represents assets for capital acquisitions and reclassifications that are released from the temporarily restricted classification to become unrestricted.