UNC was awarded the top bonding rating by three agencies in May, making it the only school in North Carolina to earn a unanimous AAA rating. This rating evaluates the University's financial security and credit quality.
AAA is the highest rating a school can receive, which will help UNC issue bonds to finance things the school needs. Additionally, when borrowing funds the University will have a lower interest rate.
The agencies that rated UNC are Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings. All three agencies attributed their score to the University's financial strength and ability to manage the budget during COVID-19.
“That's important because it indicates that the University is rated as the highest quality borrower. We have such a good track record in repaying the money that we've borrowed, that we are qualified for the lowest interest rate," economics professor Patrick Conway said.
Nathan Knuffman, vice chancellor for finance and operations, presented his first projected balanced all-funds budget to the UNC System Board of Governors prior to the rating.
Some important parts of his budget included offsetting $200 million in lost revenue from COVID-19 and removing a $100 million structural deficit.
Knuffman is getting rid of the deficit by creating a model that takes into account all the University's revenue sources and expenditures as well as trimming personal funds.
Conway says there are three main reason why UNC gets a AAA rating.
The first reason is that by being a member of the UNC system, the University is supported by the state of North Carolina.