Moody’s Investors Service Tuesday upgraded the University of South Alabama’s revenue bonds to A1 from A2 ahead of next month’s sale of $130 million of capital improvement bonds.

The upgrade reflects USA’s continued healthy operating performance, which has aided unrestricted financial resource growth, as well as its established market position with continued enrollment growth and an improving relationship with university’s foundation, according to a report by Moody’s analyst Amy Tanaka.

The school has experienced growth in its total financial resource base of $541 million in fiscal 2007, bolstered by retained surpluses and new fundraising efforts.

Based in Mobile, USA has an established market position with continued enrollment growth as a regional public university with 11,114 full-time equivalent students in fall 2008 with a focus on health sciences, technology, and applied educational offerings.

Its health-related academic offerings include a nursing and medical school that benefit from the clinical learning opportunities of a university-run health care system that serves Mobile and surrounding counties with two hospitals.

Moody’s said USA expects to sell the new debt Sept. 15 to finance capital improvements, including an addition to the Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

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