Fitch Ratings Affirms City Colleges of Chicago’s A+ Credit Rating
CHICAGO — City Colleges of Chicago announces that Fitch Ratings has affirmed its credit rating of A+ and upgraded the community college system’s outlook from Stable to Positive.
“We are pleased to see the improvement in our ratings outlook, a recognition of our efforts to successfully eliminate a structural deficit and rebuild cash reserves while at the same time posting above average post-pandemic enrollment gains, and continuing to grow in-demand programs and invest in critical student supports,” said Chancellor Juan Salgado.
In its report, Fitch stated “The Outlook revision to Positive from Stable reflects the district's steady improvements in financial resilience, with a buildup of reserves providing the district strong gap-closing capacity.”
Fitch noted that:
The rating and outlook reflect City Colleges’ positive momentum coming out of COVID-19. City Colleges weathered the challenges and has shown continued progress in financial resilience. A buildup of reserves provides City Colleges with financial flexibility.
City Colleges’ continued trend of achieving an operating surplus, strong expenditure flexibility, and enrollment trends above the state enrollment average for community colleges as primary credit positives, and
City Colleges is poised for a rating upgrade should the positive operating performance trends continue over time.
City Colleges of Chicago’s Fall 2023 headcount enrollment is up 12.7% for students in combined credit and adult education, more than double the state-wide average (+5.7%) for Illinois community colleges, with strong gains for Black male (+15.8%) and Latinx male (+8.6%) credit students. City Colleges undergraduate credit enrollment fall 2023 increase (+8.4%) was nearly double the national public community college average (+4.4%).
For more information about this Fitch Ratings Upgrade for City Colleges of Chicago, visit www.fitchratings.com or click here.
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