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Fitch Affirms University’s ‘A-’ Bond Rating

Fitch Ratings, a global credit rating agency, has affirmed a favorable ‘A-’ bond rating for Widener University and issued a “stable” outlook for the university moving forward, according to a report released July 27.

“Management is focused both on long-term strategy execution and short-term efficiency gains/cost controls,” the reports states. “Widener has a new president…who has many years of experience in private and public higher education. The university board is stable and has significant business expertise, which Fitch believes provides sound oversight of Widener’s financials and long-term vision.”  

“Given the challenges facing higher education, this is affirmation that Widener has been prudent in its fiscal and investment practices,” said Widener President Julie E. Wollman. “We will continue to monitor the higher education climate and be responsible stewards of the university’s finances and resources.”  

The Fitch report noted Widener’s long track record of profitability, emphasis on cost savings, and manageable capital spending plans as reasons for affirming the university’s favorable bond rating. “Furthermore, Fitch expects Widener to benefit from the university’s increasing focus on fundraising, leveraging the success of the recent capital campaign which exceeded the $58 million goal by $7 million.”

The full report from Fitch is available here.

Fitch rates bonds on an alphabetic scale, with ‘AAA’ being the highest rating, and ‘D’ being the lowest. According to industry experts, only the companies that come under the ratings AAA, AA, A and BBB are worth investing in.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. are proud to be tobacco free. Visit the university website,