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Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s Affirm CSU Bond Ratings Despite Higher Education Outlook


Thanks to prudent financial management, liquidity and strong demand for a California State University education, the CSU's systemwide bond ratings are stable.

A look down at CSUN campus from the air

​Photo courtesy of CSUN

​​​​​​National bond rating agencies Moody's Investor Services and Standard & Poor's Rating Services have both affirmed ratings of California State University's systemwide revenue bonds in the agencies' latest reviews. Despite the current challenges facing higher education with COVID-19, the CSU's bond ratings are stable, thanks to prudent financial management, liquidity and strong demand for a CSU education. 

Moody's issued an Aa2 rating with a stable outlook and S&P assigned an AA- rating with a stable outlook.

According to the Moody's report published August 12, “The assignment and affirmation of the Aa2 reflects continued excellent demand for the CSU, good liquidity to manage through near term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and outlined operational and financial adjustments that should enable the system to adapt in fiscal 2021 without impairing credit quality."

Additionally, the Moody's report cited:

  • “The CSU was among the first universities to announce that instruction would be predominantly online in Fall 2020. Announcing the system's plans early to move instruction online for the fall gave the campuses more time to recognize the revenue, expense and operational implications."
  • ​“The Aa2 also incorporates the system's very good strategic position as the nation's single largest four-year higher education system by enrollment and leadership's effective operational management as it implements key strategies for student success."​​
​​“The positive reviews from Moody's and S&P are a confirmation that our prudent financial management continues to pay off and reflects our exceptional stewardship of the financial resources entrusted to us by the state of California," said Steve Relyea, CSU's Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer.