Financial, academic strengths cited

Wall Street Boosts B.C.'s Bond Rating

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

Boston College's bond rating has been upgraded to AA, in an expression of Wall Street's confidence in the University's financial and academic strength.

Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Rating Services, the two leading Wall Street bond-rating agencies, have both awarded Boston College an AA rating, indicating the University's bonds are judged to be high-grade investments. Only the AAA rating is higher.

Boston College, with an endowment of $814 million, becomes one of 14 colleges and universities nationwide to enjoy an AA bond rating on Wall Street. Nine colleges and universities, primarily Ivy League institutions with large endowments, have been accorded AAA ratings.

"It really places us in an elite group of colleges and universities," said Boston College Associate Treasurer Paul Haran, who said the high bond rating is based on "the strength and quality of our academic programs as well as on the strength of University finances."

The University had previously held an A bond rating. The rating upgrade came as Boston College went public with a $115 million bond issue to raise funds for the renovation of Higgins Hall and other construction projects and to refinance existing debt. The Series L bonds, which mature over the next 33 years, have an average yield of 5.06 percent.

Haran said factors taken into consideration by the bond-rating agencies include the strength of the University's applicant pool, the growth of its endowment, its long history of comprehensive planning, and the excellence and selectivity of its academic program.

The bond rating upgrade indicates Wall Street's recognition of Boston College's status as a national university, Haran said. The affirmation of the University's fiscal operations is particularly gratifying, he added, in light of the greater wealth of most of the other institutions similarly rated.

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