November 28, 2022

Moody’s affirms system’s credit rating and improved credit outlook

CONCORD, N.H. – Moody’s Investor Service has affirmed the University System of New Hampshire’s (USNH) strong Aa3 credit rating and improved its credit outlook from negative to stable, acknowledging successful cost-cutting measures amid coronavirus pandemic operating challenges.
To prepare for the headwinds facing higher education in the coming years due to declining numbers of high school graduates and fierce competition, USNH reduced its operating costs by $50 million between 2019 and 2022, despite high inflation. Moody’s recognized these measures noting that USNH demonstrates strong management credibility.

Moody’s cited additional strengths in the USNH credit profile, including the top-rated research enterprise driven by the University of New Hampshire (UNH), donor support and very low exposure to retirement-related liabilities. Moody’s also noted that these strengths are tempered by low state-funded support.

“USNH is committed to prudent financial stewardship and meeting its mission of providing affordable access to high quality educational opportunities in New Hampshire,” said Alex Walker, Chairman, USNH Board of Trustees. “We know that freezing tuition and increasing financial aid, while at the same time reducing costs, provides real benefit to our students and we take satisfaction in acknowledgement from independent experts of our successful efforts in responsibly planning for the future.” To learn more about the University System of New Hampshire, visit

The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) enrolls 27,000 students and consists of three public institutions: Keene State College, Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire. USNH strives to ensure the availability of high quality, affordable and accessible higher educational opportunities throughout New Hampshire and addresses critical state workforce needs. A 28-member Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the University System.

Media Contact:
Lisa Thorne
Director Communications, University System of New Hampshire
V: 603.862.0924
M: 603.540.9954