University of Virginia Receives Top Bond Rating

The University of Virginia once again has received top ratings for its financial strength and management.

Moody’s Investor Services, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings each recently affirmed U.Va.’s debt rating of “triple-A.” With this reaffirmation, the University continues to be just one of two public universities in the country to receive triple-A ratings from all three major credit rating agencies.

In announcing their ratings, the strengths most cited by the agencies related to the University’s operating performance, reputation, student demand and financial resources. In reaffirming the AAA rating on March 5, Moody’s cited U.Va.’s diverse and academically strong students, its superior financial management and the strength of U.Va.’s nearly $6 billion endowment. The rating service also noted the University’s continued donor support (U.Va. is closing in on its $3 billion campaign goal), the historically strong performance of the U.Va. Health System, its strong management approach to strategic planning and effective risk management.

“We are proud to continue to earn this recognition from the rating agencies,” Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Hogan said. “Triple-A ratings save us millions of dollars in financing costs related to capital projects by allowing us to secure the lowest possible interest rates. The ratings also reaffirm the terrific work of our many talented staff members.”

Fitch Ratings on March 5 also reaffirmed its AAA-rating on U.Va.’s debt, while Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed its triple-A rating on March 7.

The latest ratings coincide with U.Va.’s recent issuance of refunding bonds. The University issued two series of bonds in an aggregate principal amount of $230.4 million at a combined rate of 3.88 percent. The bond proceeds were used to refinance existing bonds and commercial paper held by the University, generating an estimated savings of $13.2 million in interest, including average annual cash flow savings of $658,000.

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