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Central Washington University

Central Washington University A1 Moody's Rating to Save Millions

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (February 28, 2013) — Moody’s Investors Service today reaffirmed Central Washington University's A1 bond rating. The excellent credit rating will save the university millions in bond payments over the next several years.

"We're delighted to get this strong evaluation at a time when the credit ratings for so many state and federal institutions have fallen," said George Clark, CWU vice president for Business and Financial Affairs.

The rating will allow CWU to refinance $53.6 million in bonds issued in 2004 under an A2 rating. That bond sale funded construction of the Student Union and Recreation Center and other campus projects.

“This is like refinancing your house,” said CWU President James L. Gaudino. “We expect to save the university about $430,000 annually in interest costs.” 

Moody’s is a top credit-rating agency that performs international financial research and analysis on commercial and government agencies. The Moody’s rating is a forecast of the credit-worthiness of an institution—the likelihood that the institution will be able to repay the bonds. It issues such ratings whenever an institution is preparing to issue bonds for a project.

Moody's A1 rating of CWU was based, in part, on Moody’s evaluation that, “CWU has a solid position as a regional public university with an access-oriented mission,” “conservative budgeting,” and is "proactive in its expense management."

University bonds are supported by revenue from residence halls, dining services, parking, the Wildcat Shop, and mandatory services and activities fees.

The A1 bond rating is the university’s best and matches its 2010 rating, which allowed CWU to complete a $34.5 million, 30-year-bond sale. That money was used to replace Barto Hall on the Ellensburg campus with a new 368-bed, four-story residence facility.

Media contact: Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-607-4103, schactler@cwu.edu