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Morgan State scores A+ S&P rating for fourth straight year

As part of an annual assessment of its financial strength, Morgan State University successfully underwent a thorough operational analysis leading Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global to affirm the university with its ‘A+’ long-term and underlying rating.

The current affirmation marks Morgan’s fourth straight annual A+ rating from S&P. While commending the university’s operating surplus, however, the ratings agency lowered Morgan’s outlook due in part to continued financial pressure, most recently brought on by the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2019, another leading ratings agency, Moody’s, affirmed Morgan with an A1 rating and stable outlook.

In support of the A+ rating, other key findings outlined in the S&P analysis included:

  • Stable full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment for the past three years at or above 7,100
  • Morgan’s storied history as one of the oldest HBCUs in the country
  • History of rising financial operating and capital support from Maryland, even during the past recession
  • Low-to-moderate 3.5% pro forma maximum annual debt service (MADS) burden

Standard and Poor’s also based its affirmation of the University’s bond rating on Maryland’s strong support of Morgan, owning a niche in the marketplace as an HBCU, and steady full-time enrollment that draws 31 percent from out of state and international students.

Having received independent audits from two respected authorities—S&P and Moody’s—affirming Morgan’s financial standing, bodes extremely well for the University amid a higher education landscape mired in economic uncertainty. Morgan has experienced great fiscal dexterity further bolstered by consistent growth in enrollment, a steadily advancing endowment, and unwavering support from state appropriated funds.

Morgan participates in multiple annual audit examinations including financial statement audits by an independent external auditor, audits by the Maryland Legislative Office, and audits conducted by Morgan’s own Internal Audit & Management Review office. The collective audit findings assist the University in limiting risks, assessing processes, improving best practices, promoting efficiency and strengthening compliances.

Morgan’s latest audited fiscal year ended June 30.

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