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A Moody’s official said that the school in Lynchburg is now seen as a lower risk than before.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Liberty University’s credit rating rose this week after Moody’s reported that the college had $728 million in total financial resources in fiscal 2012 and a $295 million increase in cash and investments in fiscal 2013.
Liberty’s bonds now are rated Aa3, up from A1 last year, when the school was first assessed by Moody’s. Only 71 universities in the country are rated Aa3 or higher.
“We came to the realization over the last 25 years that significant cash reserves and endowment funding was needed to ensure that Liberty University could fulfill its mission to provide Christian education for generations to come,” said Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. in an email Tuesday. “It is rewarding when rating agencies recognize Liberty’s commitment to and recent successes in building those resources for the future.”
As a result of the higher rating, the school has better credit ratings and bond holders can be assured they are even more likely to be repaid in full, when the bonds are due.
“Liberty is seen now as a lower risk than it was before,” Moody’s spokesman David Jacobson said.
“The university has a large financial pool, its operating performance is strong” and it now has more than $1 billion in cash and investments, Jacobson said.
“Largely because of this we upgraded them one notch to Aa3 from A1, that’s our fourth-highest rating.”
Liberty is one of only 25 schools, public and private, in the country with an Aa3 rating. It is the only school in Virginia rated Aa3.
Similarly ranked private schools include Boston College, Holy Cross in Massachusetts, Southern Methodist University in Texas and Texas Christian University.
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