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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Forbes gives GW a B+ for financial health

The University received an above-average financial health rating from Forbes, but didn’t make the honor roll.

The American business magazine awarded GW a B+ rating for the second-straight year. Forbes weighed details like tuition dependency, the percentage of students who enroll and endowment size for its annual ratings.

The University relies on tuition for 62 percent of revenue, which contributed to its B-level grade.

“Tuition dependency is the most serious risk facing middling colleges today,” Forbes’ grading methodology read.

With an endowment of about $1.4 billion, GW also ranked lower than several peer schools that have larger nest eggs. Northwestern University, which has an endowment about five times the size of GW’s, ranked 19th on Forbes’ list of the nation’s best colleges and received an A+ for financial health.

New York, Boston, American and Georgetown universities, received B’s from Forbes. Tufts University and the University of Southern California, two other peer schools, both earned A grades.

Forbes used data from fiscal years 2010 to 2012, the most recent available.

GW received A-level grades from two credit rating agencies last week after it announced it will take on $300 million in debt, pushing its total debt load to $1.7 billion.

Moody’s Investor Service and Standard and Poor’s concluded that GW’s financial resources could support that amount because it plans to use $130 million of the new debt to replace existing loans and take advantage of lower interest rates.

GW landed at No. 122 on Forbes’ list of the nation’s best colleges, its lowest ranking since 2011. The rankings, which look at more than 900 schools, use return on investment as a key factor.

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