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TMCNet:  Fitch: U.S. Colleges & Universities 2014 Outlook Stable Driven By Adaptability

[December 05, 2013]

Fitch: U.S. Colleges & Universities 2014 Outlook Stable Driven By Adaptability

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--

The 2014 Outlook for U.S. colleges and universities is Stable, supported by adaptability in the face of broad challenges, according to a Fitch Ratings report.

'College affordability and job attainment remain a focus for students and families, while institutions grapple with the uncertain economy, demographic shifts and technological advancements,' said Joanne Ferrigan, Director. 'Institutions are placing greater emphasis on performance metrics, including retention and graduate rates, which could influence which students are recruited, and how future academic programs are offered or configured.'

Overall, Fitch expects moderate tuition and fee increases over the near term, which will help to maintain relatively stable enrollment at most colleges and universities, but still create budget pressures from constrained net tuition revenue growth.

Liquidity levels, generally improved through 2013, remain a partial offset for potential demand and operating challenges.

Pressured by state and federal cost-cutting initiatives and diminished funding levels in recent years, institutions are likely to remain fiscally conservative evidenced by expense containment, measured debt issuance, and focus on capital preservation.

Constrained family finances, a decrease in the number of high school graduates in certain regions of the country, and changing demographics are key factors influencing the competitive market environment for colleges and universities in 2014.

Fitch will host a conference call to discuss its 2014 U.S. Colleges and Universities on Deember 12th at 11:00 AM eastern.

Dial-in Numbers
U.S. Participants: +1-877-467-8597
International Participants: +1-706-643-6296
Conference and Replay ID: 73933884
Replay will be available for 30 days:
U.S. Replay: +1-855-859-2056
International Replay: +1-404-537-3406

For more information, a special report titled '2014 Outlook: U.S. Colleges and Universities' is available on the Fitch Ratings web site at www.fitchratings.com.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research: 2014 Outlook: U.S. Colleges and Universities
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=725317

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON (News - Alert) THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.


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