S&P Global Ratings, a leading credit rating agency, recently assigned its ‘AAA’ long-term rating—the highest level—to Tarrant County College’s $352 million in series 2022 general obligation (GO) bonds and the College’s outstanding general obligation bonds. S&P states that the outlook is stable. Following this issuance, total GO-supported long-term debt will be approximately $608 million.
TCC will use the bond proceeds to make capital improvements to modernize and improve the student experience at its campuses.
The S&P rating shows that TCC is fiscally responsible with its overall operations and is a good investment with its stable portfolio of debt. S&P Global Ratings pointed to the community college’s resiliency demonstrated throughout the pandemic as well as measures to manage the budget.
“While TCC continues to focus on student success and academic excellence, it is important that the college remains financially sustainable,” said TCC Acting Chancellor Elva LeBlanc. “This rating is a validation of our vision and strategy to provide a valuable education to all students.”
The long-term rating reflects the S&P Global Ratings assessment of Tarrant County College in four key areas:
- Participation in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area’s (MSA) deep and diverse economy;
- Good revenue diversity, with most revenues tied to property taxes, tuition and fees, and state appropriations;
- Solid financial flexibility from substantial operating-tax-rate capacity, competitive tuition rates, and a healthy, growing tax base; and
- Good management, with likely sustainable financial practices and practices under our Financial Management Assessment (FMA) methodology
S&P Global Ratings provide a forward-looking opinion about a borrower’s credit worthiness and ability to repay debt using a letter-grade system. “AAA” is the very best rating that can be given for a borrower’s ability to replay long-term bonds. A long-term credit issue rating of “A” means that the organization being rated is more susceptible to adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories, but the borrower’s ability to meet its financial commitments is still strong.
Although the ratings agency believes TCC has taken proactive steps to address COVID-19, it acknowledges that the virus is a global risk and cautions that the College’s efforts to alleviate operating pressures and grow revenue will remain constrained by the pandemic.
About Tarrant County College
Serving more than 100,000 students each year, Tarrant County College is one of the 20-largest higher education institution in the United States and boasts the second-lowest tuition of Texas’ Top 10 community colleges. As a comprehensive two-year college with six campuses in Fort Worth, Texas, surrounding communities and online, TCC offers a wide range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds that include traditional programs, such as Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science degrees; workforce and economic development programs; technical and skilled trades programs; and customized training programs for area businesses and corporations. Students also may take advantage of Weekend College through which they can complete an associate degree in 18 months or less by attending class full-time through weekend and online classes.