Higher education analysts from Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) recently upgraded their outlooks from negative to stable for Georgian Court University—a positive indication that the university is working through COVID-19-related challenges.
In explaining its stable outlook for GCU, Moody’s cited improved operating performance in fiscal year 2020 and stabilization of financial results in fiscal year 2021. The analysts also noted GCU’s attention to monitoring costs.
“Management has taken several steps to manage expenses further to maintain these recent financial results in fiscal 2022 and beyond,” according to the Moody’s Rating Action issued in July. Moody’s affirmed GCU’s Baa3 rating, which the agency said is supported by the university’s “positive operating cash flow and very good liquidity for its rating and relative to its debt and expense.”
S&P analysts also raised the university to a stable rating in its most recent 2021 U.S. Higher Education Ratings Actions. According to S&P analysts, GCU “maintained available resources despite pandemic pressures, improved freshman matriculation, and new program offerings.” The university has a BBB- rating from S&P.
An Investment of Hard Work, Strategy
“We’re pleased with the rating agencies’ assessments, which were made possible by a combination of foundations established in our institutional strategic plan, shared sacrifices made campus-wide, and key decisions made during the pandemic by our Board of Trustees,” said GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D.
“It also helps that GCU ranks among the top 51 percent of colleges and universities nationally in the 2019-20 College Stress Test,” he added. The report, conducted by Stevens Strategies, analyzed the market viability of 2,800+ undergraduate institutions.
The ratings of numerous U.S. colleges and universities declined during 2020 because of COVID-19 factors but are currently trending upward. Georgian Court was one of 22 higher education institutions that S&P upgraded to a Stable outlook in the second quarter of 2021.