Saint Louis University Maintains AA- Credit Rating from S&P Global
In this extraordinary time of COVID-19 disruption, when many colleges and universities are seeing their credit ratings or outlooks lowered — S&P Global Ratings has maintained its current 'AA-' rating of Saint Louis University’s general obligation bonds.
One of the leading credit rating agencies, S&P said its rating reflects the University’s “strong financial profile that reflects sound financial policies.”
The global pandemic has disrupted business-as-usual for most colleges and universities and has tested higher education on multiple fronts, including finances, enrollment and fundraising, among many others.
“SLU is no exception,” said University President Fred. P. Pestello, Ph.D. “We’re being tested on those same fronts. But unlike many other institutions of higher education, our credit rating didn’t get downgraded. Clearly, S&P is confident in our ability to weather this unprecedented crisis — and, possibly, come out ahead.”
The rating agency said it believes SLU has taken proactive steps to address COVID-19, but acknowledged that the virus is a global risk and cautioned that the University’s efforts to alleviate operating pressures and grow revenue will remain constrained by the effects of the pandemic.
To help SLU face these challenges, S&P emphasized that the University has an effective management team, and comprehensive planning and budgeting processes in place. The agency also said that it views favorably SLU’s efforts to address its financial hurdles and operational inefficiencies in recent years.
In terms of enrollment, the agency highlighted the quality and geographic diversity of SLU’s student body, as well as strong demand among prospective students for the University’s academic programs and Jesuit educational mission.
S&P also noted that fundraising has been an area of strength for the University and that ongoing momentum in that area — along with its effective leadership and planning — should help increase the amount of financial resources on hand to make investments in strategic areas.