Standard & Poor’s this week upgraded to A-plus from A its rating on Illinois State University’s auxiliary facilities system bonds in conjunction with its sale of $30 million of AFS bonds and $21.9 million of certificates of participation.

Analysts attributed the action to the school’s consistently strong financial performance and gradual progress in building liquidity and student quality. “ISU has consistently generated operating surpluses on a full accrual basis, and had strong financial performance in 2007 thanks to its solid investment earnings and strong auxiliary system operations,” wrote analyst Susan Carlson.

Carlson further noted ISU’s solid liquidity levels, with unrestricted net assets covering 29% of expenses and 75% of debt.

The university has an enrollment of about 20,000 students.

Proceeds from the new debt will finance a new student recreation center, power plant improvements, stadium improvements, and a new human resources information system.

After the upcoming issues, the school will have $136 million of outstanding debt.

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