Key improvements in place ahead of new Moody’s rating

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Despite having satisfied and exceeding key expectations associated with avoiding a rating downgrade, Moody’s Investor Service has changed Elizabeth City State University’s fixed rate general revenue bonds to Baa2 from Baa1, according to a report released Monday, May 15.

During the 2016 and 2017 fiscal year, ECSU has been intent on addressing items in the 2015 Moody’s report, which would lead to a rating downgrade for this year.

The North Carolina General Assembly has included $4.8 million in revenue for ECSU in its current budget. In addition, the passage of N.C. Connect bond package includes $13 million earmarked for ECSU capital projects. These address concerns over funding reflected in the report.

While the report cites enrollment decline as a concern, new freshman applications at ECSU has increased 60 percent since last year, and students offered admission has increased 70 percent.

Since all of ECSU’s existing debt is fixed-rate debt, the ruling will have no impact on the university's current debt obligations, or cost of capital.  Further, this will not impact the USDA loan that the university is pursuing since the funds are part of a federal program.

The university continues to make positive gains, according to Chancellor Thomas Conway with the creation of new, signature programs and broader student recruitment efforts, ECSU is moving forward.