Weekly Market Update
INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE APPLICATIONS AND ENROLLMENTS DOWN AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Applications and enrollments by international graduate students at American universities have decreased for the first time in over ten years, according to a new survey. International enrollments dropped by 1% from 2016 to 2017, while applications were down by 3% over the same period. Notably, applications and enrollments dropped significantly from three countries that have historically provided a large proportion of these students: India, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. International interest in American graduate education has been tempered by the current political climate, including President Trump's travel ban. Additionally, the survey's lead researcher believes that there may be a mismatch between the workforce demands in certain countries and the education that American schools provide. Despite declining international enrollment and application numbers, however, overall enrollment yields at American graduate programs have not decreased.
In Other News
- Higher education will likely face continued undergraduate enrollment pressure as high school graduation rates are expected to decrease by as much as 9% from 2026-2031.
- Marginal state appropriations increases for higher education spending are viewed as a credit negative, according to a report released by Moody's. The rating agency expects that state appropriations will continue to be limited in 2019.
- Municipal bond new issuance hit a 7-year low in January following issuers' rush to the market in December, ahead of tax reform. Despite the lack of supply, municipal market yields increased, driven by a selloff in the Treasury market.
- Janet Yellen chaired her last Federal Reserve Board meeting this week, after spending 14 years at the Fed and one 4-year term leading it. Yellen ran the Fed during a period of substantial job creation; the unemployment rate dropped further under her tenure than under any previous Fed chair.
- According to a new report commissioned by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, the human services sector is struggling operationally. The report notes that 30% of nonprofits have only a "few weeks" of cash reserves.
- Amazon is beefing up "workplace learning"with the hire of Dr. Candace Thille, an expert in learning science at Stanford University . Few details are available but Dr. Thille's reputation in research on instructional technology development intrigued observers.
Rating Agency Update
- Moody's assigned Aa1 to University System of Maryland's Series 2018A Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- Moody's placed Michigan State University's Aa1 long-term rating under review for downgrade.
- Moody's affirmed Northeast Ohio Medical University's Baa2 rating. The outlook is revised to stable from negative.
- Moody's affirmed Florida Atlantic University's Aa3 rating on its parking facility revenue bonds. The outlook is revised to stable from negative.
- Moody's assigned A1 to Skidmore College's Series 2018 Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed the University of North Florida's A rating. The outlook is stable.
- S&P assigned A+ to Troy University's Series 2018 Revenue Bonds. The outlook is negative.
- S&P affirmed Belmont University's A rating. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed Pittsburg State University's A- rating. The outlook is stable.