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Moody’s downgrades Howard U’s credit rating

WASHINGTON — Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Howard University’s credit rating, citing revenue declines at the historically black college and automatic federal budget cuts from Congress.

Moody’s issued its downgrade Tuesday after a review that began in July. Howard’s rating was reduced from A3 to Baa1, indicating a moderate credit risk. Moody’s says fundraising is weak. It assigned Howard a negative outlook.

Howard is a private university but relies heavily on the U.S. government for support totaling $250 million annually. Moody’s says federal cuts will impact the school in the next year.

All of the university’s revenues are under pressure. The credit agency says Howard University Hospital has become a drag on the school. The college also saw a decline in enrollment due to tightened lending standards for federal parent loans.