S&P Global Affirms Sweet Briar’s Bond Rating and Raises its Outlook

Sweet Briar College starts the new year with its strong financial profile recognized by S&P Global, which has affirmed the school’s long-term bond rating of BB and revised its outlook from stable to positive.  Only four percent of the U.S. higher education institutions reviewed by S&P received a positive outlook, so Sweet Briar’s upwardly revised outlook is significant.

S&P stated that the positive outlook and affirmed rating reflect Sweet Briar’s enrollment growth and a healthy balance sheet with low debt, rapid debt amortization, and more-than-adequate liquidity.

Other factors cited by S&P in its rating include the College’s positive operational changes and more disciplined financial management under the leadership of President Meredith Woo, as well as its 10-year reaccreditation in December 2021 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), a concrete sign of Sweet Briar’s resurgence.

“Over the last five years,” said President Woo, “Sweet Briar has worked hard to recruit students, energize its programs, launch its women’s leadership core curriculum and make noteworthy facilities improvements. At a time when colleges and universities across the country are facing serious challenges, I’m particularly gratified that our efforts have been validated by S&P Global.”