New York, July 13, 2022 — Moody’s Investors Service has assigned Aa2 ratings to Emory University Revenue Bonds offered by Emory University (GA), to be issued through the Private Colleges and Universities Authority , in the following series, descriptions and approximate amounts: $120 million Revenue Bonds, Series 2022A (fixed rate bonds); $110 million of Revenue Bonds, Series 2022B (Weekly Rate Bonds); $67.5 million of Revenue Bonds, Series 2022C-1 (Weekly Rate Bonds with Truist Credit Facility) and $67.5 million of Revenue Bonds, Series 2022C-2 (Weekly Rate Bonds with RBC credit facility); and $110 million Revenue Bonds, Federal Taxable Series 2022D-1 (Weekly Rate Bonds with Truist Credit Facility) and Revenue Bonds, Federal Taxable Series 2022D-2 (Weekly Rate Bonds with RBC Credit Facility). Final maturities and structured ratings associated with letters of credit and collateral purchase agreements (SBPA) for series 2022C-1, 2022C-2, 2022D-1 and 2022D-2 are to be determined. The Series 2022B bonds will be rated Aa2/VMIG 1 based on the self-liquidity of the university. At the same time, we affirmed Aa2 issuer rating, Aa2 revenue bond ratings and P-1 short-term rating on its taxable commercial paper program with $350 million clearance. Emory had debt outstanding of $2.3 billion at the end of the fiscal year on August 31, 2021. The rating outlook is stable.


Affirmation of the Aa2 issuer rating reflects Emory’s substantial and rapidly growing reach of operations and wealth, very strong donor support and a robust, globally recognized research activity. The excellent brand and strategic positioning recognizes stable revenue growth in the university and healthcare entities, Emory Healthcare’s (EHC) role as a premium tertiary/quaternary medical center in the growing Atlanta, Georgia region, a geographically diverse enrollment base, and continued growth and global recognition of Emory’s research profile. Total cash and investments at $11.3 billion for fiscal 2021 cushions expenses by a solid 1.6x and Emory retains a significant amount of cash from a combination of sources to support operations and financial commitments. Organizational complexities arising from large healthcare operations, which account for nearly two-thirds of the $7.5 billion in operating revenue, are partially mitigated by strong alignment of fiscal policies, oversight and management of risks. However, inflationary and market demand pressures around wages and benefits are weighing on operating margins, and Emory’s fiscal 2021 EBIDA margin of 9.9%, which benefited from non-recurring CARES funding, will likely be significantly lower throughout fiscal 2024. presence in a highly competitive and consolidated market, and moderately high leverage, which will increase with their issuance of short-term debt. Risks to Emory’s debt structure include floating rate debt, swap exposure and bullet maturities, but these risks are mitigated by effective cash management oversight. Total cash and investments to total pro forma adjusted debt is projected at 3.6x and pro forma debt to revenue at 0.4x.

The assignment and confirmation of the Aa2 revenue bond rating incorporates the issuer rating and the general unsecured obligation pledge payable based on the nature of the bond’s legally available funds.

The assignment of the short-term portion of the VMIG 1 rating on the proposed revenue bonds, series 2022B backed by self-liquidity and the assertion of P-1 on the commercial paper program are supported by self – Emory’s liquidity. The ratings incorporate issuer and revenue bond ratings, in addition to Emory’s abundant liquid assets and strong cash management.


The stable outlook reflects Moody’s expectation that Emory will weather a near-term period of challenging operating conditions, including inflationary pressures on payrolls, particularly for the healthcare business. The outlook is based on a sustainable structurally balanced budget with a return to pre-pandemic operating margins over the next 12-24 months. The outlook also rests on continued strong fundraising, preservation of wealth and liquidity, and limited capital requirements beyond projects funded by the additional debt expected through fiscal 2023.


– Significant growth in wealth vs. operating expenses and debt

– Sustained improvement in operational performance, student and clinical market strength


– Inability to transition to high single digit EBIDA margins in line with typical pre-pandemic levels

– Emory Healthcare business credit deterioration, particularly if marked by weaker than expected cash flow – Additional leverage or significant erosion of liquidity – Persistently low demand debt coverage by self-liquidity ( short-term rating)


Emory’s bonds and commercial paper are at par and are backed by its unsecured general obligation pledge payable from legally available funds.


Proceeds from Series 2022A, 2022B, 2022C-1, 2022C-2, 2022D-1 and 2022D-2 bonds will be used for identified academic and healthcare projects; redemption of Series 2013B bonds; and pay issuance fees.


Emory University is a large, private, comprehensive research university located in Atlanta, Georgia, with 15,061 full-time equivalent (FTE) students as of fall 2021. The university includes the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, along with the medical schools , Emory Nursing and Public Health with Emory Healthcare, its healthcare operations system. For fiscal 2021, Emory reported $7.5 billion in consolidated operating revenue, including $5.1 billion in patient care revenue.


The main methodology used in the long-term ratings was the Higher Education Methodology published in August 2021 and available at The primary methodology used in the short-term ratings was the US State, Municipal, and Nonprofit Short-Term Debt Methodology published in July 2020 and available at Otherwise, please see the Scoring Methodologies page on for a copy of these methodologies.


For details on key rating assumptions and Moody’s sensitivity analysis, see the Methodological Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions sections in the Disclosure Form. Moody’s rating symbols and definitions can be found at

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security, this announcement provides certain regulatory information regarding each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or under a program for which ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody’s rating practices. For ratings issued on a media provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory information relating to the credit rating action on the media provider and each particular credit rating action for securities whose credit ratings are derived from the support provider’s credit rating. For the provisional ratings, this press release provides certain regulatory information relating to the provisional rating assigned, and to a final rating that may be assigned after the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the structure and conditions of the transaction n have not changed prior to the final rating being assigned in a way that would have affected the rating. For more information, please see the issuer/transaction page of the respective issuer at

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Mary Coney
Senior Analyst
Higher Education
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