College and university credit ratings directly affect institutional budgeting and planning. Hence, they should be of special concern to those charged with institutional planning. This article underscores the critical role that the ratings issued by two major rating agencies play in institutional finances and planning. Because rating agencies take into account a broad range of criteria, credit ratings remain a robust indicator of creditworthiness and can serve as signaling devices regarding institutional market positioning. Therefore, decision makers should be aware of the importance of ratings as they seek to compete for students and resources in the short run and plan for the long term.
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