PHILADELPHIA â€“- Citing the University of Pennsylvaniaâ€™s strong student demand and yield, good progress on its current Making History $3.5 billion fundraising campaign and robust research funding, Moodyâ€™s Investor Service has reaffirmed Pennâ€™s Aa2 rating with a stable outlook.
â€śWe're very pleased,â€ť Stephen D. Golding, Penn's vice president for finance and treasurer, said. â€śIn continuing this rating, Moody's also took note of our solid balance sheet and sustained operating performance. Given the financial challenges of the past two years, this is quite encouraging.â€ť
Moodyâ€™s said the Universityâ€™s â€śhealthy level of financial resources provides considerable flexibility, despite recent reductions.â€ť
The analysts also noted that Pennâ€™s strengths lie in its research enterprise, with direct expenditures totaling $601 million in fiscal year 2009 and with significant increases in sponsored awards this year, including federal stimulus grants. They praised the Universityâ€™s 17.6 percent undergraduate acceptance rate and a 61.6 percent yield rate on accepted applicants and called Pennâ€™s annual gift revenue of $353 million â€śimpressive.â€ť
The Aa2 rating applies to Pennâ€™s revenue bonds issued through the Pennsylvania Higher Educational Facilities Authority as well as its As2/VMIG 1 ratings on a variable rate series of 2004 revenue bonds issued through the Washington County, Pa., Authority.
Penn has sustained this rating since 2007, when the University was upgraded from an Aa3 rating.