Standard & Poor’s last week raised to A from A-minus Alabama State University’s rating, affecting $140 million of debt.

The agency said the higher rating reflected continued strong operating performance with a trend of operating surpluses for the past five fiscal years, solid support from the state, an upward matriculation rate at 29% in the fall of last year, and adequate liquidity levels with 2007 unrestricted net assets of $21 million equal to 19% of operating expenses and 15% of outstanding debt.

Offsetting factors include headcount-enrollment levels that have softened, although full-time equivalents have begun to increase.

Standard & Poor’s assigned a stable outlook to the university’s debt, reflecting the expectation that state financial support would remain solid and that it would continue to have strong operating performance.

University management indicated that no future debt plans are currently being considered.

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