Moody’s Affirms Financial Health of University of Puget Sound

May 12, 2014

Credit rating agency that turned negative on the
higher education sector in general sees strength
in Puget Sound’s financial and operational management


TACOMA, Wash.
– Moody’s credit rating service has again assigned a high-quality rating to University of Puget Sound’s outstanding bonds and predicts a stable financial outlook for the college. The A1 long-term rating and the top VMIG-1 rating for superior short-term credit strength convey the financial stability of Western Washington’s only independent, national liberal arts college.

Moody’s commended Puget Sound for its solid financial resource base, thoughtful and conservative fiscal management, consistently positive operating performance, and established student demand, while acknowledging that the university operates in a highly competitive landscape.

“Our students’ success is underpinned by Puget Sound’s investments in the people and infrastructure that ensure they receive the highest-quality learning experience, with broad opportunities for personal growth,” said Sherry Mondou, vice president for finance and administration. “Judicious planning and sound fiscal management are among the key ingredients to maintaining that quality experience and graduating students who are exceedingly well prepared for the future.”

Moody’s last reviewed the college in fall 2012 when Puget Sound issued bonds to finance the construction of Commencement Hall, home to student residential academic communities.

Puget Sound has been working to further secure its long-term financial stability with its One [of a Kind] Campaign for the University of Puget Sound, a $125-million comprehensive fundraising effort to support students, faculty, and academic and residential life programs. The largest share of the funds raised will go toward endowment for student financial aid. At March 31, 2014, the endowment was valued at $310 million, with a 10.4 percent fiscal year-to-date return.

University of Puget Sound draws students from 42 states and eight countries, and offers a wide range of programs in more than 50 areas of study to an undergraduate student body of 2,600. It also offers four degrees at the graduate level. The college is one of just five independent colleges in the Northwest granted a charter by Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society.

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