S&P: Carolina Friends School, NC's 2016 Educational Facilities Revenue Bonds Rated 'BBB+'
The rating reflects our opinion of the school's stable student enrollment, strong demand profile, low debt burden, and solid financial resources ratios, especially relative to debt. In our view, these strengths balance the school's somewhat small size, and below-average, albeit growing, endowment relative to peers in the rating category. The stable outlook reflects our expectation that, during the two-year outlook period, CFS will maintain its stable enrollment and demand profile, achieve balanced-to-surplus operations on a full-accrual basis, sustain solid financial resources ratios, while continuing to grow its endowment.
We could consider a positive rating action if CFS grows endowment; improves its expendable resources ratios, especially relative to operations, to be commensurate with a higher rating level; and maintains its current enrollment and demand profile.
Although unlikely during the two-year outlook period, credit factors that could lead to a lower rating beyond the outlook period include a significant weakening of the school's demand profile, a notable decline in financial resources, a significant amount of debt issuance without commensurate level of financial resources, or if there are sizable operating deficits.
Founded in 1962 by Durham and Chapel Hill Friends Meeting members as a deliberately racially integrated school, Carolina Friends School began as a small class of five-year olds and has expanded to include early and lower, middle and upper school, with current enrollment of 513 students as of fall 2016.