CHICAGO — Strong growth in Evanston, Ill.-based Northwestern University's endowment prompted Standard & Poor's to move the credit up into the elite ranks of higher education institutions as it prepares to sell $125 million of new money tomorrow.

The upgrade to AAA from AA-plus marks the school's third top rating as Fitch Ratings already rated it AAA and Moody's Investors Service assigns its Aaa. Fitch affirmed its rating Friday, according to the university, but Moody's has not yet released its latest review.

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