Latest Update: As the strike continues, read the most current guidance for students and faculty and learn more about the contract negotiations. December 08, 2022.

  • University Budget

  • Even in challenging and uncertain times, The New School’s priority is to maintain the quality of our world-class education, which inspires and prepares our graduates to create a more just, more beautiful, and better-designed world.

    As we plan for the long-term sustainability of the university, we are sharing the information below about what goes into operating The New School. Budgets reveal a great deal; we hope ours shows how we are prioritizing and protecting the integrity of the educational experience we offer and the safety and health of everyone in the community. 


    Our university is based in the heart of New York City, which provides remarkable opportunities for our students. New York is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. We spent $428 million to operate the university in fiscal year 2020. 

  • Expenses
  • Although the university closed much of the campus during the COVID-19 outbreak, many of these costs have not changed. During FY20, our greatest expenses, such as facilities and staff, remained the same, even as faculty and students temporarily moved to online learning.


    Our most valuable resources are our knowledgeable faculty and dedicated support and administrative staff. Accordingly, salaries and benefits for personnel make up almost two thirds of our expenses.* Full-time and part-time faculty salaries and benefits make up 47 percent of total expenditures on salaries.

  • Salaries
  • Facilities

    In recent years, the university has invested in infrastructure in many ways to reflect our focus on innovation. By far the most prominent example is our University Center — the heart of our urban campus, a model of sustainable architecture, and a space specifically designed for academic and creative convergence and collaboration. 

    We also have world-class performance and making facilities, which allow students across the university to learn, create, and inspire. We look forward to making these spaces available again as soon as it is safe for the community to return to campus. Our space-related costs make up 23 percent of our total budget.*


    We are dedicated to promoting academic scholarship that goes beyond the conventional, offering students what we believe is a truly new educational experience. The proportion of the university’s spending on its academic programs has increased steadily over time, to 62 percent of our actual costs in FY20. This allocation covers everything from faculty salaries and research to new programs, all of which keep the university at the front line of creative, interdisciplinary, and experimental pedagogy.

    Student Support

    Over the last 20 years, we have steadily increased the scholarships and financial aid provided to students, both in amount of support and as a percentage of tuition revenue. In 2001, the university provided $24.5 million, or 18.8 percent of tuition revenue, in financial aid and scholarships. In FY20, we awarded more than $144 million, or 30.5 percent.

  • Financial Aid
  • During the pandemic, we also diverted additional funding to support students with emergency relief in the following ways

    • Freezing tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year
    • Making nearly $3 million available to assist students with rapid-response financial suppor
    • Providing an additional $1 million in university funds to help students ineligible for federal CARES Act funding
    • Providing technological equipment and Internet access to help students transition to remote learnin
    • Lifting financial holds and offering flexibility on tuition payment plans
    • Allocating $17.5 million for fall 2020 to support a one-time technology grant for all students as well as general pandemic aid for those with the greatest demonstrated need


    The New School received $426.4 million in operating revenue in 2020. Like other private universities, we do not receive significant funding from the federal or state government. This means that we are a tuition-dependent university. 

  • Revenue
  • Like many other universities, The New School experienced a significant impact on its revenues because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In FY20, we refunded, on a prorated basis, a total of $8.8 million in housing and dining fees paid by students who left campus in March because of the coronavirus. The impact on revenues was felt much more dramatically in FY21, the first academic year since the pandemic began. We experienced a revenue drop of more than $130 million because of the pandemic, as well as increased costs resulting from the rapid adjustment to remote learning. This is discussed in detail in University Finances: Understanding the Impact of COVID-19.  

    We are now working on building revenues from non-degree programs — offerings including continuing and executive education — and pursuing business opportunities to reduce the university’s dependence on tuition.


    The New School’s endowment is an investment in the university’s future. (Along with the university’s other invested assets, it is managed by the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees.) Although it is smaller than endowments at many other institutions, the university is permitted to spend a small percentage (4 percent) of the endowment on operations each year. 


    Even in these difficult times, we remain optimistic about the future of the institution. We are committed to protecting the safety, well-being, and health of everyone in our community as we strive to provide an educational experience unlike that offered by any other university in the world.  

    * Percentages are from actual FY20 results, which are the most recent available. Figures in all graphics are rounded to the nearest percentage point.


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