Despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that caused Teachers College to move to a remote teaching and working environment in March 2020, the College reported an operating surplus of $1.7 million for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2020. This surplus can largely be attributed to maintaining strong enrollment and cost-cutting measures during the summer of 2020, though these were partially offset by a drop in auxiliary revenues as most students moved out of the College’s dormitories
The College’s balance sheet remains strong as net assets increased by approximately $47 million to $451 million. The College’s endowment fueled the increase as it returned 16% for the fiscal year despite high volatility, as evidenced by a return of -13% in the first quarter of calendar year 2020.
As we have moved into fiscal year 2021, the College faces financial pressures as continued remote learning has resulted in significant vacancies in student housing and lower enrollment expectations. These forces have been further exacerbated by political barriers placed on international students. To combat these decreased revenues, the College has reduced expenses and continues to invest in strategic priorities such as digital innovation and diversity equity and inclusion that we believe will result in a stronger institution after we have weathered these turbulent times.
Henry Perkowski, Vice President Finance & Operations
The accompanying financial statements have been prepared on the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with standards established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) for external financial reporting.
The balance sheet presents the College’s financial position as of August 31, 2020. The College’s largest financial asset is its investment portfolio, representing 60% of the College’s total assets, with a fair market value of $386 million as of August 31, 2020. The investment portfolio includes $384.5 million relating to the College’s endowment, which represents contributions to the College subject to donor-imposed restrictions that such resources be maintained permanently by the College or designated to the endowment by the Board of Trustees. The endowment is managed to achieve a prudent long-term total return (dividend and interest income and investment gains). The Trustees of the College have adopted a policy designed to preserve the value of the endowment portfolio in real terms (after inflation) and provide a predictable flow of income to support operations. In accordance with the policy, $15.8 million of investment return on the endowment portfolio was used to support operations in fiscal year 2020.
The College’s second largest and oldest asset is its physical plant, consisting of land, buildings, furniture and fixtures, and equipment. As of August 31, 2020, the net book value of plant assets was $136 million, representing 21% of the College’s total assets. The College’s liabilities of $188 million are substantially less than its assets. As of August 31, 2020, long-term debt represented the College’s most significant liability at $99 million. In accordance with FASB standards, the net assets of the College are classified as without or with donor restrictions. At August 31, 2020, the College’s net assets without donor restrictions totaled $138 million.
The statement of activities presents the financial results of the College and distinguishes between operating and non-operating activities. Non-operating activities principally include donor restricted contributions, donor restricted grants and contracts, investment return, net of amounts appropriated as determined by the College’s endowment spending policy, and non-operating changes to pension and postretirement liabilities. Operating revenue without donor restrictions totaled $211 million. The College’s principal sources of operating revenues were student tuition and fees, net of student aid, representing 57% of operating revenues, and grants and contracts for research and training programs, representing 16% of operating revenues. Investment return, auxiliary activities, and other sources comprise the remaining 17% of operating revenue without donor restrictions. Operating expenses without donor restrictions totaled $209 million.
BALANCE SHEET August 31, 2020
|Cash and cash equivalents||74,958,755|
|Student accounts and other receivables, net||5,776,822|
|Grants and contracts receivable||16,406,007|
|Inventories and other assets||2,325,354|
|Contributions receivable, net||15,842,417|
|Student loans receivable, net||2,407,667|
|Plant assets, net||135,662,314|
LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS
|Accounts payable and accrued expenses||16,986,919|
|Long-term debt, net||98,978,097|
|Accrued pension and other benefit obligations||51,918,221|
|Funds held for others||3,783,477|
|NET ASSETS||Amount ($)|
|Without donor restrictions||137,648,434|
|With donor restrictions||313,554,182|
|TOTAL NET ASSETS||451,202,616|
|TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS||451,202,616|
STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES Fiscal Year ended August 31, 2020
|OPERATING REVENUES||Without donor restrictions,||With donor restrictions,||Total|
|Student tuition and fees, net of student aid||118,976,321||-||118,976,321|
|Grants and contracts||34,521,822||-||34,521,822|
|Endowment return appropriated and other investment income||16,767,794||-||16,767,794|
|Sales and services of auxiliary enterprises||20,790,824||-||20,790,824|
|Net assets released from donor restrictions||11,849,129||(11,849,129)||-|
|TOTAL OPERATING REVENUES||210,589,669||(11,849,129)||198,740,540|
|OPERATING EXPENSES||Without donor restrictions,||With donor restrictions,||Total|
|Research, training and public service||46,883,583||-||46,883,583|
|TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSES||208,966,361||-||208,966,361|
|(DECREASE) IN NET ASSETS FROM OPERATIONS||1,623,308||(11,849,129)||(10,225,821)|
|NON-OPERATING ACTIVITIES||Without donor restrictions,||With donor restrictions,||Total|
|Grants and contracts||-||11,967,391||11,967,391|
|Investment return, net of amounts appropriated||12,347,799||24,265,408||36,613,207|
|Other pension and postretirement changes and net periodic benefit costs other than service costs||2,373,913||-||2,373,913|
|Net assets released from donor restrictions for capital||250,000||(250,000)||-|
|INCREASE IN NET ASSETS||15,740,782||30,953,777||46,694,559|
|NET ASSETS AT BEGINNING OF YEAR||121,907,652||282,600,405||404,508,057|
|NET ASSETS AT END OF YEAR||137,648,434||313,554,182||451,202,616|