Debt Ratings for USM Remain Strong, Despite Challenging Financial Climate in Higher Education
Adelphi, Md. (Feb. 2,
2016) -- The three principal bonds ratings agencies-Standard & Poor's,
Moody's, and Fitch-have informed the University System of Maryland (USM) that
the USM will maintain its traditionally high ratings with the issuance of
$201.33 million auxiliary facility and tuition revenue bonds.
For this series of bonds, USM has received high ratings of
AA+ from Fitch Ratings, Aa1 from Moody's Investor Services, and AA+ from
Standard & Poor's. All three ratings services give USM an outlook of
The strong evaluations are noteworthy because the USM has
maintained consistently strong debt ratings despite the challenging economic
climate that has impacted higher education in recent years. Strong ratings
allow the USM to minimize costs of borrowing.
As noted by Moody's Investor Service, the Aa1 rating
"reflects the system's important role as the largest provider of four-year
public higher education in Maryland diversified among 12 institutions, with
solid operating and capital support from the State of Maryland (Aaa stable),
good revenue diversity, and consistent positive operations."
The USM benefits from an effective partnership with the
administration of Gov. Larry Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly. The
state's support of the USM's mission as a system of public higher education has
resulted in affordable tuition, support of key initiatives, and the
construction of critical capital improvement projects on campuses.
A team led by Joseph Vivona, USM's chief operating officer
and vice chancellor for administration and finance, prepared the detailed
prospectus in support of this bond issue and met with the ratings agencies in
"It is critical to the economic health of the University
System of Maryland that we maintain such consistently strong ratings from the
bond agencies. These ratings are a direct reflection on the financial strength,
vitality and efficiency of the USM. They also are a tribute to the leadership
from our Board of Regents, the careful management at each of our institutions,
and the extraordinary preparation by Joe Vivona and his group."
The responsible management of financial resources helps the
USM to pursue its core missions in teaching and research.
Contact: Mike Lurie