- S&P Global Ratings gave nonprofit colleges and universities a negative outlook for the third-straight year, citing continued challenges that could do more to hurt than help institutions’ credit ratings.
- However, well-resourced institutions with broader reach and recognition are expected to fare better than smaller, regional schools, the ratings agency noted in a report explaining its outlook.
- The outlook comes a month after Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the sector’s rating to stable for 2020, while Fitch Ratings kept its negative.
A common theme among all three ratings agencies’ 2020 outlook reports is that the headwinds higher ed is coming up against — including the slow post-recession recovery in state funding, tuition price sensitivity, and decrease in the supply of high school graduates and international students — are affecting groups of schools differently.
Some institutions have adjusted to this scenario, which S&P calls the “new normal.” Those colleges have implemented viable strategies for recruiting and retaining students, managing their budgets and finding additional sources of revenue.
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