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Moody’s: Outlook for higher ed sector now negative

Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday downgraded its outlook for the higher education sector to negative across the board, saying even prestigious, top-tier research universities are now under threat from declining enrollment, government spending cuts and even growing public doubts over the value of a college degree, the Associated Press reports. Previously, its outlook had been stable for those better-positioned institutions, and negative for the rest. The report explaining the decision outlines a range of financial challenges now burdening virtually all institutions, though in different measures in different places — stagnant family income that limits pricing power, substantial state funding cuts, a demographic dip in the population of new high school graduates and a federal budget standoff that almost certainly bodes ill for the future flow of dollars for research and student-aid programs like Pell Grants…

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