B-CU Earns an A+ Bond Rating
Fitch Ratings Report has affirmed Bethune-Cookman University’s bond rating of A+. Bond credit ratings are the equivalent of an individual’s credit score and are designed to gauge the risk a bondholder will receive on their investment. The strong credit rating means B-CU can borrow at a reduced rate.
Several key factors were considered in the top rating. B-CU operations have historically generated positive margins, averaging 5.6 percent over the past five years. In addition, enrollment has grown dramatically in the last two enrollment cycles driven largely by improved student retention. Enrollment increased by roughly 7 percent in fall 2013, and fall 2014 preliminary figures show similar gains.
Fitch expects enrollment growth and continued student retention improvement to drive positive operating performance, which depends heavily on net tuition and fees. Also, the student default rate has dropped from 20.6 percent to 16.8 percent.
Another factor considered is that BCU’s financial cushion remains sound for the rating category. Available funds, calculated by Fitch as cash and investments not permanently restricted, covered an adequate 79.4 percent of operating expenses and a strong 201.7 percent of long-term debt.
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.