Penn State

Penn State’s credit rating bouncing back with new Moody’s ranking

Penn State’s long-term credit rating is back on the upswing after Moody’s Investment Service ranked the university with positive outlook Wednesday.

A year ago, the rating agency downgraded Penn State to a stable outlook — An AA2 rating — from its AA1 standing in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

Moody’s cited Penn State’s “rapid and effectively executed improvements to its governance, best practices and management over the past year” according to a university news release Thursday.

“Since Moody’s previous report in October 2012, we have worked diligently to change our policies and our procedures to reflect best practices in many areas, including governance and safety,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in the release. “The expectation expressed by Moody’s and reaffirmed every day at Penn State is that we will continue to evolve as a leader in governance and remain one of the best universities in the world.”

The new rating, still AA2, but with a “positive outlook,” means Penn State is a low credit risk for long-term investments. The ranking was foreshadowed in May when Moody’s said in mid-year report that the university was one of the nation’s largest public universities and “student demand has remained strong,” the release states.

Moody’s said the university having paid most of the settlement claims arising from the Sandusky sexual abuse scandal in its rationale for revising the outlook, the release states.