Standard & Poor’s gives Mercy College an ‘A’ Rating

Standard & Poor’s gives Mercy College an A Rating

A recent advertisement in the Sept. 9 issue of The New York Times informed the community that Mercy College  has become an “A” rated college.

Strong leadership placed Mercy College among elite institutions of higher education. Mercy was given this rating by “Standards & Poor’s,” which is a division of the McGraw Hill Companies that publishes credit ratings for the debt of public and private corporations. There are two types of ratings that the S&P issues – short–term ratings and long-term ratings.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious recognition as we continue our mission to provide a high-quality private education to competitive students, enabling graduates to achieve their academic and career goals,” said Dr. Kimberly Cline, President of Mercy College in a press release.

Mercy College’s mission statement is that the college is committed to providing motivated students the opportunity to transform their lives through higher education. The average cost of the school is $17,556, which is affordable compared to other New York colleges. While in the midst of a bad economy, Mercy has positioned itself as a strong investment option for higher education.

There are several ratings that a college, company or organization can receive from “Standards & Poor’s,” and in the “A” category they are defined as – ‘AAA’ – Extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments (highest rating); 
‘AA’ – Very strong capacity to meet financial commitments; ‘A’ – Strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but somewhat susceptible to adverse economic conditions and changes in circumstances. Mercy has received the third highest ranking that the S&P offers. This “A” rating allows Mercy to raise money by issuing bonds at a lower interest rate; the higher the rating the lower the interest rate cost to Mercy.

The designation marks the first ‘A’ rating by Mercy College in its more than 60-year history. According to a press release,  “the rating reflects the view that over the next two years Mercy College will maintain strong operating margins, achieve its enrollment goals, and continue to build its financial resources through long-term investments.”

Mercy’s focus is on putting students first, and that has resulted in outstanding recognition from a number of prestigious sources, as well as notable developments in its programs. A big contributor to Mercy’s “A” rating is the college’s Personal Achievement Contract (PACT), which is a mentoring program and is a core reason for the college’s transformation.

Gary Brown, Chairman of the Board, stated in the press release, “This rating reflects strong financial management and financial stewardship. The outstanding progress at the College is a result of the efforts of our committed Board of Trustees and is a credit to the leadership of President Kimberly Cline and her team. We look forward to a solid future for the College with a continued focus on the success of our students.”

Every two years “Standard and Poor’s” reviews institutions they ranked to see if they still deserve that same ranking.

Other accolades have been sent in Mercy’s direction over the school year. For the second year in a row, the college has been recognized as a College of Distinction for 2012-2013 in the areas of engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes, said the press release, adding that the  Honors Program was listed as a “Smart Choice” in Peterson’s Honors Programs and Colleges.