NEW YORK - The outlook is mixed for the U.S. not-for-profit higher education sector this year, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said in a report.

"We believe that operating results and demand will likely be uneven for fiscal 2012 and 2013, and that many institutions will report some weakening in income performance," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Mary Peloquin-Dodd. "Despite public concern about the rising costs of going to college, the affordability crisis has not yet affected actual credit quality for most rated institutions."

In 2011, there was an almost equal number of upgrades and downgrades, while the number of positive and negative outlooks was even, according to the article.

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