UH releases credit rating by Standard & Poor

University of Hawaiʻi
Jodi Leong , (808) 492-0597
Dir of Communications, External Affairs and University Relations
Posted: Feb 19, 2015


The University of Hawai’i announced today that financial services company Standard & Poor (S & P) has reaffirmed its rating of UH at “A+” on the university’s outstanding debt.  The rating includes an outlook of “stable” and is four levels below the agency’s highest possible rating of “AAA.”

UH has also received ratings of AA2 (or third from the top) from Moody’s Investors Service and an AA rating (or third from the top) from Fitch Ratings.

In delivering its rating, S & P identified some of the university’s various strengths including:  UH is the state’s only public system of higher education; its overall stable enrollment; its large diverse enrollment base and a relatively low and manageable annual debt service burden of about 2.8 percent of its annual operating budget.

“This independent, third party review affirms that in the area of finances and credit management, the University of Hawai’i is on solid footing and the future prospects for the university are judged to be positive.  We view this report to be validation that the university is headed in the right direction financially,” said UH President David Lassner.

The ratings report also identified some areas of risk, which included the trajectory of future enrollment growth, the university’s strong reliance on state funds and the prospect of declining state support that has been the trend at many state universities across the nation.

“While many of these factors are not unique to the University of Hawai’i’s situation, our university’s prospects are positive as general support from taxpayers and the public are recognized to be strengths of our state’s only public university system,” said Kalbert Young, vice president and chief financial officer of the university system.

The rating affirmation covers all of the university’s outstanding debt, which amounts to approximately $593.9 million as of June 30, 2014.

Information and news specifically of interest to investors of the university, such as credit agency reports from S & P are available at the State of Hawai’i’s Investor Relations webpage: http://investorrelations.Hawaiʻi.gov/uh-bor