FSU maintains top credit ratings amid COVID-19 economic challenges

The school has the top rating among Florida public universities.

Florida State University has the highest rated credit of any public university in Florida, according to the newest credit ratings from S&P Global, Fitch and Moody’s.

In addition, FSU is one of only eight public universities nationwide with an AA+ rating or better from S&P and Fitch.

“I’m very proud that we were reaffirmed at all of our existing credit levels,” said Kyle Clark, vice president for FSU’s Finance and Administration. “I think that’s particularly good news in light of the economic, financial and operational consequences of the pandemic.”

S&P affirmed FSU’s existing AA+ rating as well as ratings for its revenue bonds including AA- for housing, AA+ for parking, and AA+ for Wellness Center. The affirmed ratings show FSU has a stable fiscal outlook.

“FSU’s leadership has done an outstanding job managing the challenges of COVID,” said Florida Division of Bond Finance Director Ben Watkins.

In its latest report, S&P noted “an improvement in the university’s various demand metrics including selectivity, student quality, and graduation to levels comparable with peers along with continued operating surpluses and successful fundraising, which have resulted in healthy financial resources.”

In addition, Fitch confirmed FSU’s AA+ rating and AA ratings for the university’s outstanding revenue bonds for housing, parking, a wellness center and its Research Foundation.

The report reflected Fitch’s “expectation that the university will sustain adjusted cash flow margins, as defined in Fitch’s criteria, in line with historical trends, and that balance sheet strength will be maintained and improve over time.”

Meanwhile, Moody’s maintained its Aa2 Rating on the university’s outstanding revenue bonds for housing, parking, and the Wellness Center) with a stable outlook. Their rating is based on the university’s “excellent strategic positioning as a prominent comprehensive university aided by strong operating and capital support from the State of Florida.”

Moody’s also reported that FSU has experienced “strong student demand aided by academic program investments and will maintain its strong market position as a designated Preeminent State Research University.” Moody’s stable outlook for FSU “incorporates the expectation of strong operating performance and excellent student demand and strong coverage of debt service from pledged revenues.”

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


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