Moody's revises outlook on UMass

Demand for a UMass education and improved fiscal oversight factors in affirmation of rating


BOSTON -- Citing strong management, improvement in fiscal oversight and student demand, Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday affirmed the University of Massachusetts' Aa2 credit rating and revised the university's outlook from negative to stable.

"The stable outlook reflects our expectation of continuing steady enrollment and positive operating performance, continued solid state support and growth in financial resources, with manageable plans for future borrowing under the stewardship of a strong management team," said Moody's in a May 2 press release.

The Moody's report follows the reaffirmation of UMass AA- credit rating and stable outlook by Standard & Poor's in December 2017, which cited "solid demand metrics with growing enrollment and what we view as sound management and governance oversight, with comprehensive long-term strategic plans" in its report.

"The ratings validate our commitment to strong financial management and accountability," UMass President Marty Meehan said. "I'm pleased in particular by the ratings agencies recognizing our commitment to fiscal oversight and strategic planning."

"Reflected in this rating is that President Meehan, his management team, and the campus chancellors have made fiscal accountability a priority in their work on behalf of the Commonwealth and our 75,000 students," said UMass Board of Trustees Chair Rob Manning.

The stable outlook for UMass is made notable by Moody's revising its rating for the higher education sector to negative in December 2017 and noting that negative rating actions in higher education are more likely on average.