FSU again boasts highest credit rating of all Florida public universities

Florida State University continues to receive high marks for financial management, according to the newest credit ratings released by S&P Global, Fitch and Moody’s.

FSU has the highest credit rating of any public university in the state of Florida with an AA+ rating by S&P and Fitch and an equivalent Aa1 rating by Moody’s.

“This is terrific news for the university, and I’m very proud of the fact we have the highest-rated credit of any public university in the state of Florida,” said Kyle Clark, vice president for Finance and Administration. “These ratings highlight all the positive aspects of why Florida State University is a great investment and a good steward of the resources allocated to us by the Florida Legislature.”

“The team at FSU runs a tight ship,” said Ben Watkins, director of the Florida Division of Bond Finance. “They have done an outstanding job managing their finances, and this is recognized in their extraordinarily strong credit ratings. FSU’s leadership is unified in its focus on student performance and affordability and is strategically positioning the university to capitalize on its research capabilities. They have been very creative and innovative in their approach to financing and are recognized nationally as a top-tier university with a strong competitive position.”

Moody’s maintained an Aa1 issuer rating for FSU and an Aa2 rating on the university’s outstanding revenue bonds (Housing, Parking, Wellness Center, Student Union, Research Foundation) with a stable outlook. Its rating is based on the university’s “excellent strategic positioning as a prominent comprehensive university aided by strong operating and capital support from the State of Florida.” Moody’s also reported that FSU’s strengths include “donor support, total wealth, low debt burden, strong operating performance and well-diversified revenues including gains in sponsored research.”

In addition, Moody’s revised the outlook on FSU Financial Assistance, Inc. (FSUFA) to A1 stable. FSUFA is a component unit of the Seminole Boosters, a direct support organization of Florida State University. Moody’s noted increasingly close governance and management ties to Florida State University and a strong record of Seminole Boosters’ fundraising including success with a recent $100 million facilities campaign as some of FSUFA’s credit strengths.

S&P affirmed FSU’s AA+ rating and various ratings for the university’s outstanding revenue bonds (AA- Housing, AA+ Parking, AA+ Wellness Center, AA+ Student Union) with a stable outlook. In its report, S&P said the rating “reflects our view of a continuation of the university’s healthy financial trends, consistently sound state operating support, and a stable enterprise profile characterized by FSU’s impressive market position bolstered by good regional employment and population growth trends.”

Fitch affirmed FSU’s AA+ rating and the AA ratings for the university’s outstanding revenue bonds (Housing, Parking, Wellness Center, Student Union, Research Foundation) with a stable outlook. Fitch’s report noted, “FSU’s revenue bond ratings are attributable to the university’s very strong financial profile combined with its revenue defensibility and operating risk profile assessments, together with the good overall annual debt service coverage and strong reserves at the university level.” Fitch also affirmed the A+ stable rating for the FSUFA.