University of Central Missouri: S&P Global Ratings Assign UCM ‘A+’ Long-term Rating for Fifth Year

The University of Central Missouri has received a long-term rating of “A+” by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings for the fifth consecutive year regarding its Missouri Health & Educational facilities Authority’s series 3013C, 2018A and 2018B educational facilities bonds. In addition, as a result of UCM’s dedication to sound financial operations, the rating includes an improved outlook, going from “negative” to “stable”.

In its rating action, S&P Global noted, “The outlook revision reflects our view of a third consecutive year of positive full-accrual operating performance due, in part, to management’s proven ability to make material adjustments to its expense base as needed. Furthermore, the outlook revision reflects our view of the university’s historically strong available resources, which, due to favorable market conditions through fiscal 2021, grew at the university and foundation level and provide ample support to the university. Finally, the revision reflects our view of a slowly improving enrollment picture thanks to what appears to be the return of what was once a healthy international enrollment.”

S&P Global Ratings provide a forward-looking opinion about a borrower’s credit worthiness and ability to repay debt using a letter-grade system. “AAA” is the very best rating that can be given for a borrower’s ability to replay long-term bonds. A long-term credit issue rating of “A” means that the organization being rated is more susceptible to adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories, but the borrower’s ability to meet its financial commitments is still strong.

At the end of Fiscal Year 2021, UCM’s total debt outstanding equaled approximately $94.6 million, including $55.6 million in revenue bonds for projects that include construction of The Crossing – South at Holden, the university’s first student living-retail complex, and a $13 million energy savings capital lease issued in April 2009 for deferred maintenance to buildings on the main campus.

“To maintain an “A+” rating for a fifth consecutive year, with an improved outlook, says a great deal about the campus-wide commitment to good stewardship of our limited financial resources.” said Bill Hawley, vice president for finance and operations at UCM.

Sondra Savage-Moore, associate vice president for finance and administration, added, “While we continue to focus on student success and academic excellence, it is vital that the institution remains financially sustainable. This rating reflects this sustainability as well as our ability to secure financing for potential future projects that will benefit our students.”

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