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Growing Enrollment, Diverse Footprint Give SHU A Higher S&P Rating

Sophomore Class President Sarah Kosha, University President John Petillo, Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Resident Success Assistant Lauren Silver do the honors at a ribbon cutting at Sacred Heart University.
Sophomore Class President Sarah Kosha, University President John Petillo, Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Resident Success Assistant Lauren Silver do the honors at a ribbon cutting at Sacred Heart University. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Sacred Heart University moved up in its Standard & Poor's rating, from BBB+ to A.

SHU President John J. Petillo welcomed the news at the university, which is in the midst of expansion. “S&P’s report noted our growing enrollment and diverse geographic footprint as reasons for our success," he said.

“Enrollment continued to grow into fall 2016 as the university expands both its undergraduate and graduate programs,” S&P’s report said.

In recent years, the university’s student population has grown to 5,400 undergraduate students and more than 3,000 graduate students. That growth has also led to physical growth that is unprecedented in the university’s 54-year history, said a release.

Within the last two years, the university has completed and outgrown its Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center and finished its Jorge Bergoglio residence hall. The center houses the Jack Welch College of Business and School of Communication & Media Arts. It offers students such resources as media production studios, trading floor and interactive laboratories designed to advance the skills and knowledge needed for the global marketplace.

The new dorm for 200 sophomore students have two-bedroom (four-person) pods with a shared bathroom. A fitness facility, video game room, classes and competitive video game club activities and lounges and conference rooms are among amenities.

A Center for Healthcare Education, Upper Quad Residential Village and a new building for WSHU Public Radio and the University’s Department of Public Safety are under construction at the Fairfield campus.

Later this week, Sacred Heart will take ownership of the former GE global headquarters, a 66-acre site, a mile from the main campus in Fairfield.

“We are pleased with the increase in our financial resources and all that has allowed us to do for our students,” said Michael Kinney, senior vice president for Finance & Administration at Sacred Heart. “To have S&P validate our strong financial profile with this rating increase is very gratifying.”

Only three private colleges in Connecticut (Yale, Wesleyan and Trinity) have an A rating or higher from Standard & Poor’s, said the release.

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