WASHINGTON - Georgetown University, one of the first issuers to be hit by a failed auction as the auction-rate securities market was beginning to collapse earlier this year, is joining the throngs of issuers exiting the devastated market when it begins to convert about $550 million of its ARS in the coming weeks.

After months of high interest rates, the university, using the District of Columbia as a conduit issuer, will begin to convert $551.4 million of ARS into fixed-rate and variable-rate debt, starting with a conversion of $214.7 million to fixed-rate debt on Sept. 23. The university plans to complete the conversions by the end of October.

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