‘A+’ Bond Rating Affirmed
June 11, 2012
President Durden provides an update on the health of the college in a Town Hall-style meeting during Alumni Weekend.
Standard & Poor’s Rating Services affirmed its ‘A+’ revenue bond rating on Dickinson—and its stable outlook—during an interim analysis of the financial strength of the college. The review was conducted as part of the increased diligence of credit-rating agencies.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for Dickinson. Our credit rating was upgraded last year despite the impact of a significant recession and re-affirmed in the midst of continuing global financial stress. At a time when so many colleges and universities are facing financial difficulties it speaks volumes about the judicious manner in which this institution is managed,” said President William G. Durden ’71. “Affirmation of the Standard & Poor’s rating provides Dickinson College with significant financial confidence upon which to build future success for undergraduate students through a useful liberal-arts education. Financial stability will maintain the college’s current momentum for high achievement and distinction.”
Some key points from the June 8, 2012 report include:
- “The rating affirmation reflects our view of Dickinson’s continued healthy operating surpluses, stable demand profile and good levels of financial resources for the rating category.”
- “The ‘A+’ rating reflects our view of the college’s general obligation pledge supported by:
- Strong demand, with increasing applications and improving student quality along with stable enrollment levels;
- Historically good financial operations, with an adjusted operating surplus of $7.8 million [before transfer, debt principal payment and strategic reinvestment*] recorded for the year ended June 30, 2011 (audited fiscal year-end);
- Good level of financial resources, with expendable resources equal to 183 percent of adjusted fiscal 2011 operating expenses and 233 percent of debt outstanding at fiscal year-end;
- History of successful fundraising, including a recently completed capital campaign for $152 million; and
- Manageable debt level, with maximum annual debt service (MADS) of $8.1 million, including capital leases—equal to a moderate 5.6 percent of fiscal 2011 adjusted operating expenses….”
- “Dickinson’s operations have been consistently profitable and the college’s financial profile is characterized by good operating performance, manageable debt and a good level of financial resources.”
* Added for clarification by Financial Operations.