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Dickinson College Earns A+ S&P Rating

Old West

Rating signifies stable outlook for college’s financial future

Dickinson’s Standard & Poor's (S&P) A+ rating was affirmed with a “stable outlook” designation by S&P, a leading index provider and data source of independent credit ratings and provider of the indispensable S&P Index.

This recognition is all the more noteworthy during a trying time in the higher-education sector, due to tuition pricing pressures, enrollment and demographic challenges and rising investment market and regulatory concerns, as “stable” S&P ratings are becoming increasingly rare, industrywide.

“This rating reflects great confidence in Dickinson and its future,” said President Margee M. Ensign. “That confidence is well deserved, and we will continue to innovate and educate the global leaders the world so desperately needs.”

The rating reflects S&P’s assessment of the college’s historic surpluses and continued positive operating margins, and Dickinson’s relatively flat enrollment over time, as well as the strength of the college’s available resources, which are stronger than rating category mediums and in line with peer institutions. S&P also noted Dickinson’s “good student quality,” with an average SAT score above the national average, a retention rate at 91% and a graduation rate at 84%; the college’s stable and experienced leadership; and its geographic diversity, reflected in a student body that includes students from more than 38 states and 49 countries.

“It’s a difficult playing field, so this rating is a major accomplishment,” says Brontè Burleigh-Jones, Dickinson’s chief financial officer, noting that S&P downgraded 20 higher-ed institutions in 2018. “S&P has recognized our ability to effectively manage our institutional resources during an extremely challenging time in higher education, and this rating affirms that we have the ability to navigate through these challenges and maintain our financial position.”

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Published June 11, 2019