Mercy College today announced its ‘A’ credit rating, was reaffirmed by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) for higher education. The rating reaffirms Mercy’s capacity to meet its financial commitments and maintain a healthy financial outlook.
The rating report stated that Mercy’s healthy financial resources relative to debt, consistent and strong operating margin, potential for enrollment growth, careful expense control and healthy financial outlook were key reasons for the reaffirmation.
While 39% of S&P’s rated U.S. colleges and universities are facing a negative outlook in the coming year, Mercy is among the 61% of rated colleges and universities that are maintaining a stable outlook, compared to 88% holding a stable outlook at this time last year. In assigning the ‘A’ rating with a stable outlook, Standard & Poor’s also cited the difficulties many schools are having in meeting their enrollment and revenue targets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. "The pandemic has exacerbated those pressures and has forced a fundamental shift in business models for all," Jessica Wood, S&P Global Ratings credit analyst, said in a statement.
“Standard & Poor’s rating shines a spotlight on Mercy’s keen fiscal management as well as the College’s leadership in addressing the needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Joseph Gantz, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “With the launch of the OnCampus Plus reopening plan prior to the fall semester, President Hall created an environment at Mercy that paved the way for effective teaching, working and learning experience for the Mercy community.”
The impressive rating caps a year of unprecedented change for Mercy College marked by its commitment and foresight in adapting to extraordinary circumstances. After transitioning all classes to a virtual delivery format in March 2020 to adhere to state and federal guidelines for colleges and universities, Mercy was allocated stimulus funding from the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, earmarked for direct aid to students and for institutional use. Through judicious use of this funding, combined with the dedication of faculty and staff, Mercy has continued to support its students academically, as well as help meet their needs for housing, food assistance, counseling services and more throughout this extraordinary time.
“The ’A’ rating by Standard & Poor’s demonstrates Mercy College’s dedication to financial stewardship and management,” said President Tim Hall. “This is a testament to the strong leadership of our Board of Trustees and staff members who continue to ensure that the College’s financial needs and strategic growth are managed prudently. Through this support, the College is able to drive forward its mission of ensuring all students have the opportunity to achieve their dreams of a college degree.”
Mercy College has maintained its ‘A’ rating since 2012. The rating reflects the view that over the next two years the College will maintain operating margins, realize enrollment goals, and continue to build its financial resources through long-term investments and prudent financial management. The College is committed to ensuring that students not only have the opportunity to study at Mercy, but that they persist to graduation and ultimately achieve career success in their respective fields.