Moody’s Upgrades Villanova University’s Long-Term Rating; Standard & Poor’s Changes Villanova’s Outlook to Positive

Moody’s Investors Service Upgraded Villanova’s long-term rating to A1 from A2, while Standard & Poor’s revised the University’s outlook to positive from stable

University cited for strong market position, highly conservative fiscal management and operating results

For Immediate Release
Oct. 22, 2009

VILLANOVA, Pa., Oct. 22, 2009 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Villanova University’s long-term rating to A1 from A2, citing the University’s strong market position, “highly conservative fiscal management” and operating results. In addition, Standard & Poor’s revised Villanova’s outlook to positive from stable, reflecting historically strong student demand, student quality and strong financial operations among other factors.

“This upgrade endorses a philosophy we have had in place for years and affirms the University’s financial discipline,” said Ken Valosky, Vice President for Finance and Administration at Villanova University. “I am delighted that our financial performance was recognized, particularly during an economic downturn.”

“The University has held true to its guiding principles – to continue our commitment to students and their families, avoid layoffs and preserve our financial flexibility,” added Valosky.

This year, Villanova had its smallest tuition increase in over 30 years, while increasing its undergraduate financial assistance by nine percent to $55 million.

The University received a positive outlook from Moody’s in March. Just seven months later, Villanova is now one of only five higher education institutions and one of only two private universities to receive an upgrade from Moody’s during calendar year 2009.

Villanova was recently recognized as an "Endowment Sustainability Leader” by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a special Project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. This title was given to only 12 colleges that earned an average grade of “A-” or better on three endowment management categories of the Institute’s annual College Sustainability Report Card: transparency, investment priorities, and shareholder engagement.

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.