Skeptical bond market means tougher choices for universities

Tim Goral's picture
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Universities across the region are getting ready to borrow millions of dollars more for their newest campus projects.

But the bond market is souring on higher education nationally, putting at risk the easy borrowing universities have enjoyed for decades.

Lower credit ratings mean higher interest rates – hiking costs and narrowing options for the universities. Those options include student fees, higher tuition and slashed budgets.

“People never really gave much thought to whether those bonds were going to be repaid or not, because there were never any defaults,” said David Creamer, the top finance official at Miami University. “No one’s assuming that’s true any longer.”

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