Standard & Poor's Ratings Services expects ratings and outlooks to be "increasingly volatile" in 2013, according to a report, titled "U.S. Higher Education Sector Could Experience A Rise In Rating And Outlook Changes In 2013."

"While we expect stable credit quality for a majority of our rated higher education institutions, the range of risks facing the sector could also lead to uneven credit performance, with the potential for a widening gap between stronger and weaker credits," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Jessica Matsumori. "The magnitude of this divide will largely depend on each institution's specific characteristics and management's response to the credit risks it faces," Matsumori added.

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