Harvard University Revenue Statistics

This report examines Harvard University’s financial status, including the institution’s revenue, expenditure and net operating assets. Recent data shows that both revenue and expenditure at Harvard display an increasing trend.

  • As of the 2021/22 academic year, Harvard generated revenues of $5.84 billion.
  • This was 11.18% higher than 2020/21’s $5.25 billion.
  • Over the given 5-year period, revenues have increased by 11.90%.
  • In total, Harvard University had expenses of $5.43 billion.
  • Total expenses have increased by 9.34% since the $4.97 billion spent in 2020/21.
  • $2.21 billion was spent on salaries and wages (40.63% of the overall spend).
  • From the given data, Harvard made a net operating asset gain of $405.66 million for the year.

Harvard University revenue

Harvard University relies on diverse sources of income to sustain itself, with investment income being its primary source. In addition, the university generates significant revenue through net student income and sponsored support.

Total revenue

  • As of the 2021/22 academic year, Harvard generated revenues of $5.84 billion.
  • This was 11.18% higher than 2020/21’s $5.25 billion.
  • Over the given period, revenues have increased by 11.90%.
  • 2021/22 also generated the highest revenues from the given data.
  • The effects of the pandemic likely contributed to drops in revenue in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years.
Academic yearTotal revenueChange
2017/18$5.22bn
2018/19$5.51bn+5.66%
2019/20$5.37bn-2.50%
2020/21$5.25bn-2.30%
2021/22$5.84bn+11.18%

A graph is given below to show Harvard’s total revenue:

Revenue by type

  • As of the 2021/22 academic year, Harvard generated $2.29 billion in revenues through investment income.
  • Investment income made up 39.30% of the total revenue.
  • $1.22 billion was generated through net student income.
  • Net student income made up 20.96% of the total revenue.
  • $980 million was generated through sponsored support.
  • Sponsored support made up 16.72% of the total revenue.
Revenue type2017/182018/192019/202020/212021/22Change vs 20/21
Net student income$1.12bn$1.20bn$1.07bn$0.89bn$1.22bn+37.72%
Sponsored support$0.91bn$0.94bn$0.92bn$0.93bn$0.98bn+5.30%
Gifts for current use$0.47bn$0.47bn$0.48bn$0.54bn$0.50bn-6.70%
Investment income$2.02bn$2.13bn$2.21bn$2.20bn$2.29bn+4.29%
Other revenue$0.69bn$0.77bn$0.70bn$0.69bn$0.84bn+20.81%
Total$5.22bn$5.51bn$5.37bn$5.25bn$5.84bn+11.18%

A graph is given below to show Harvard’s total revenue by type:

Harvard University expenditure

Harvard University has experienced consistent growth in its overall expenditure. While spending patterns differ, the institution primarily allocates a significant portion of its expenditures to salaries and wages.

Total expenditure

  • As of the 2021/22 academic year, Harvard had expenses of $5.43 billion.
  • This was the highest total expenditure over the given period.
  • Total expenses have increased by 9.34% since the $4.97 billion spent in 2020/21.
  • The 2020/21 academic year saw a significant reduction in total spend.
  • Over the given period, expenditure has increased by 8.19%.
Academic yearTotal expenditureChange
2017/18$5.02bn
2018/19$5.20bn+3.67%
2019/20$5.38bn+3.46%
2020/21$4.97bn-7.74%
2021/22$5.43bn+9.34%

A graph is given below to show Harvard’s total expenditure:

Expenditure by type

  • As of the 2021/22 academic year, Harvard spent $2.21 billion on salaries and wages.
  • Salaries and wages made up 40.63% of the overall spend.
  • $730 million was spent on services purchased.
  • Services purchased made up 13.49% of the overall spend.
  • $580 million was spent on employee benefits.
  • Employee benefits made up 10.75% of the overall spend.
Expense type2017/182018/192019/202020/212021/22Change vs 20/21
Salaries and wages$1.94bn$2.04bn$2.13bn$2.08bn$2.21bn+6.24%
Employee benefits$0.57bn$0.56bn$0.62bn$0.58bn$0.58bn+1.00%
Services purchased$0.62bn$0.68bn$0.67bn$0.64bn$0.73bn+13.65%
Depreciation$0.41bn$0.38bn$0.38bn$0.41bn$0.43bn+4.54%
Space and occupancy$0.36bn$0.38bn$0.36bn$0.32bn$0.35bn+11.63%
Supplies and equipment$0.27bn$0.27bn$0.24bn$0.21bn$0.27bn+28.66%
Interest$0.19bn$0.18bn$0.18bn$0.18bn$0.19bn+2.22%
Scholarships and other student awards$0.15bn$0.16bn$0.16bn$0.16bn$0.17bn+6.57%
Other expenses$0.51bn$0.56bn$0.63bn$0.38bn$0.49bn+28.52%
Total$5.02bn$5.20bn$5.38bn$4.97bn$5.43bn+9.34%

A graph is given below to show Harvard’s total expenditure by type:

Harvard University net operating assets

  • As of the 2021/22 academic year, Harvard made a net operating asset gain of $405.66 million.
  • This was the greatest net operating asset gain over the given period.
  • The 2019/20 academic year saw a loss of $10.05 million.
  • It was the only loss in the given period.
  • The loss is estimated to be caused in part by a rise in salaries, wages and employee benefits.
  • A reduction in net student income revenue during the pandemic also contributed to the year’s losses.
  • Harvard saw average annual net operating asset gains of $236.46 million over the 5-year period.
Academic yearNet operating assets
2017/18+$196.36m
2018/19+$307.61m
2019/20-$10.05m
2020/21+$282.72m
2021/22+$405.66m
(from given revenue and expenditure only)

A graph is given below to show Harvard’s net operating assets:

Harvard revenue FAQ

Where does Harvard University’s funding come from?

  • Harvard’s funding predominantly comes from:
    • Investment income.
    • Net student income.
    • Sponsored support.

What are Harvard University’s main expenses?

  • Harvard’s main expenses include:
    • Salaries and wages.
    • Services purchased.
    • Employee benefits.

Is Harvard University for profit?

  • Harvard University is a private, non-profit Ivy League institution that utilizes its revenue for internal reinvestment.
  • This allows the university to meet operational requirements, support employee salaries, provide resources and improve student services. 
  • By allocating their funds in this way, Harvard can accomplish its educational objectives.