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Queen’s retains AA+ credit rating


Queen’s University has retained its AA+ credit ratings from Standard & Poor’s, a strong vote of confidence in the finances of the institution.

In supporting the ratings, the credit rating agency referred to the high calibre of Queen’s students and the university’s exceptionally strong balance sheet.

“The ratings on Queen’s reflect the university’s excellent student quality and demand profile, superior unrestricted net asset levels and low debt, and strong budgetary surpluses and debt service coverage,” says Standard & Poor’s newly released report.

“Largely stemming from the 80 per cent entry grade normal minimum threshold for all Queen’s undergraduate programs, full-time, first-year students had an average of 87 per cent entry grade in fiscal year 2007. Furthermore, Queen’s competes for a few of the same pool of Canadian candidates as some elite U.S. universities.”

Standard & Poor’s referred as well to the university’s “superior level of unrestricted net assets and low debt” and the health of the university’s endowment.

“The market value of Queen’s endowment rose 13 per cent net in fiscal 2007 to C$649.5 million or C$35,817 per FTE, which is the strongest of its rated peers,” the report says. (FTE refers to full-time equivalent which translates generally to mean on a per-student basis).

The Report from Standard & Poor’s draws attention to the difficult construction environment, causing cost escalation impacts on major capital projects at the University. It notes that university management and the Board of Trustees are closely monitoring the situation and have flexibility in making changes if these prove necessary.

“Standard and Poor’s affirmation of Queen’s University’s AA+ ratings, based as it is on our University’s excellent student quality, high demand profile, exceptionally strong financial indicators and their confidence in Queen’s ability to continue to manage ongoing operating challenges effectively, is a testament to the quality of our students and the excellence of our faculty and staff,” says Principal Karen Hitchcock. “We are delighted with these results.”

Queen’s Credit Rating Report

Contact: Lorinda Peterson, Communications Coordinator, 613 533-3234, or Alissa Clark, Communications Assistant, 613 533-6000, ext. 77513,, Queen’s News and Media Services.


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