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Martin D. Jenkins Hall Division of Finance & Administration

Moody’s Affirms Morgan State University’s Positive Outlook, A1 Rating Maintained

by Morgan State U
February 22, 2024

BALTIMORE – Bolstered by three consecutive academic years of historic enrollment nearing 10,000 students and a strong fiscal standing, Morgan State University has received affirmation of its A1 issuer rating by Moody's Investors Service (Moody’s), reflecting a stable outlook for the institution’s financial future. The rating, which builds upon affirmations from recent years, underscores Morgan’s continued legislative support in the form of operating and capital funding from the AAA-rated State of Maryland. As a result, Morgan has become one of the nation’s most financially stable and highest-rated Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). 

Moody’s assessment of Morgan’s financial health highlights steady growth in state appropriations, comprising 42.7% of fiscal 2023 revenue, with expectations of significant increases over the fiscal 2023-33 period reinforced by additional appropriations resulting from the HBCU equity bill (SB1). The university's very good brand, strategic positioning, consistent enrollment growth, and expanding research enterprise further contribute to a positive outlook. Other factors underlining Moody’s firm financial profile and projections are the University’s low debt, fiscal acuity and long-term administrative and operational stability. The University Board of Regent’s recent unanimous decision to extend Morgan’s president’s contract through 2030 was also favorably evaluated.

Integrity Morgan pole flag“While we are very pleased with the affirmation of our A1 rating by Moody’s and stable outlook for our institution, we remain committed to furthering this fiscal trajectory and enhancing our financial standing and operational efficiency,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan. “This affirmation reflects the confidence Moody’s has in our institution’s ability to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities for growth and sustainability while prioritizing Morgan’s strategic investments to advance our mission as a national institution.”

The stable outlook reflects Moody’s expectation that Morgan will continue to receive significant state support, maintain earnings before interest, depreciation, and amortization (EBIDA) margins that provide at least 3x debt service coverage, and manage its operations without incurring additional debt obligations. Factors that could lead to an upgrade of the rating include sustained strengthening of EBIDA margins in line with rated peers, sustained improvement in available reserves, and material growth in cash and investments providing a stronger buffer to operations and debt. 

Morgan remains dedicated to its mission of providing accessible, high-quality education to its diverse student body while fostering innovation, research, and community engagement. The university looks forward to continuing its positive trajectory and its national posture as a leading national higher education institution contributing to Maryland’s educational and economic advancement and beyond.

Morgan participates in multiple annual audit examinations including financial statement audits by an independent external auditor, audits by the State of Maryland Legislative Office, and audits conducted by Morgan’s own Internal Audit & Management Review office. The collective audit findings assist the University in limiting risks, assessing processes, improving best practices, promoting efficiency and strengthening compliances.

The sound financial rating assessed by Moody’s follows Morgan’s consistent A+ issuer credit rating (ICR) from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global. Following an extensive assessment of Morgan’s fiscal operations, financial position and trend analysis, and debt analysis, S&P affirmed a stable outlook for the University in Q2 of 2023 reflecting the University’s sound financial profile and robust operating and capital support from Maryland. 


About Morgan
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit

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Media Contacts:
Larry Jones or Dell Jackson, for University PR