Campaign news shorts
BU gets a Moody’s upgrade
Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded its assessment of BU’s credit-worthiness—a thumbs-up that contrasts sharply with the generally pessimistic review that the firm gave higher education earlier this year. BU’s bond rating was raised to A1 from A2. (Moody’s rating system ranges from Aaa to C, and measures an institution’s ability to pay back borrowed funds on time and in full.) The upgrade has significant financial implications, since it will allow the University to borrow money at lower rates in the future. This is BU’s second such upgrade in five years, and reflects recent improvements in student recruitment and in academic and research reputation, as well as increases in philanthropic support which bring that charitable giving “more in line with its size and prominence.”
BU is among the world’s 50 top universities
Times Higher Education—formerly part of the venerable Times of London newspaper—has listed Boston University as America’s 32nd-highest-ranked school. In clinical medical education, BU ranked 29th among the world’s top 50 such schools. The Times’ university rankings rely heavily on international research citations and the opinions of global scholars. President Brown says the ratings underscore the high esteem in which BU is held by observers at home and abroad.
A record-setting year for BU admissions
A record-breaking 52,693 students applied to BU for the Class of 2017’s 3,800 freshmen spots, a nearly 20 percent spike over last year’s record of 44,006 applicants for 3,900 places. Only 36 percent of the applicants for the Class of 2017 were offered admission, compared to 46 percent last year. University officials were both thrilled by the surge in applications and surprised by the intensity of applicant interest in BU. Explanations for that heightened interest include BU’s academic and administrative leadership, its vigorous outreach to high schools, its use of social media to target prospective students, the caliber of the University faculty, and BU’s recent admission to membership in the Association of American Universities.
BU joins the Patriot League
Acting on its commitment to both academic and athletic excellence, the University has joined the Patriot League athletic conference, starting with the 2013–2014 academic year, becoming the ninth full member of the league. It will depart the America East conference, of which it was a founding member in 1979. President Robert Brown said he was “impressed by the academic quality of the institutions in the Patriot League, and by the league’s commitment to student athletics while effectively competing at the NCAA Division I level.” All but four of the University’s intercollegiate teams will join the Patriot League, which played its first season in 1986; men’s and women’s ice hockey teams will remain in Hockey East. The Patriot League presently consists of eight core members: American University, the U.S. Military Academy (Army), Bucknell University, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, and the U.S. Naval Academy (Navy). There are also three associate members: Fordham, Georgetown, and MIT; and Loyola University Maryland will also join in the 2013–2014 academic year.