Standard & Poor’s last week downgraded Illinois Wesleyan University’s underlying rating to BBB-plus from A-minus due to the school’s ongoing operating deficits.

The action affects $82.6 million of revenue bonds issued in 2001 and 2006 through the Illinois Finance Authority.

“The downgrade reflects continuing operating deficits on a full-accrual basis and resulting declines in financial resource ratios more appropriate to private universities in the BBB rating category,” analyst Susan Carlson wrote in the agency’s report.

The rating is supported in part by stable enrollment and a solid demand profile, Carlson wrote.

The private school, founded in 1850, is a four-year liberal arts college located in Bloomington, about 130 miles south of Chicago. It has an enrollment of 2,125.

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