News Local/State

Moody’s Issues Another Round Of Credit Downgrades For State Universities

The Hallene Gatway at the University of Illinois at Urbana.

The Hallene Gateway on the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois. The U of I was one of several public universities in Illinois that had their credit ratings downgraded Friday by Moody's Investors Service. David Mercer/Illinois Public Media

Moody’s Investors Service has once again downgraded its financial ratings for several of Illinois’ public universities.

The downgrades announced on Friday includes the University of Illinois, Illinois State University, and Eastern, Southern, and Northern Illinois Universities. 

Northeastern Illinois University's rating was also downgraded, according to Illinois Public Radio Statehouse reporter Brian Mackey.

Moody’s says the financial outlook is negative for these schools, citing the continuing state budget impasse.

University of Illinois spokesman Tom Hardy says this latest downgrade will have no immediate effect, because there are no plans to borrow money in the financial markets until perhaps next year.

Illinois Public Media, which originated this news story, is part of the University of Illinois system.

Moody’s says both the U of I and Illinois State are hampered by their “material reliance” on the State of Illinois. But those two schools continue to do better than Eastern, Southern and Northern Illinois Universities, which had already dropped to junk bond status before the latest downgrade.

Here are some of the ratings downgrades announced by Moody’s on Friday:

Eastern Illinois University

Auxiliary Facilities System (AFS) Revenue Bonds: B2, downgraded from B1 ($11 million outstanding)

Certificates of Participation (COPs) : Caa2, down from Caa1 ($86 million understanding)

Northern Illinois University

AFS Revenue Bonds:  Ba2, down from Baa3 ($187 million outstanding)

COPs:  Ba2, down from Ba1 ($11 million outstanding)

Illinois State University

AFS Revenue Bonds:  Baa2, down from Baa1 ($74 million)

COPs: Baa3, down from Baa2 ($48 million)

University of Illinois

AFS Revenue Bonds:  A1, down from A3 ($1.1 billion)

COPs: A1 down from Aa3 ($258 million)

South Campus Development Bonds: A2, down from A1 ($47 million)

Health Services Facilities System Bonds: Baa1 down from A3 ($85 million)