Illinois universities earn credit-rating ‘review’

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Moody’s Investors Service will review the credit worthiness of seven Illinois universities after downgrading the state’s credit to two levels above “junk” status this week.

Moody’s announced Friday that “reviews for downgrade” will proceed on the University of Illinois, Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Governors State University, Northeastern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University.

The reviews will examine the schools’ vulnerability to the state budget stalemate and the ability of each to operate with no state funding or reduced assistance. Experts will look at liquidity, the soundness of contingency plans and near-term debt service commitments.

The U of I, ISU and SIU all have credit ratings better than the state’s Baa1-negative — the nation’s worst.

S&P Global Ratings lowered Illinois’ rating this week, as did Moody’s.