Three public Illinois universities are the latest victims in the ongoing state budget debacle.
Northeastern Illinois, Northern Illinois and Eastern Illinois universities have each been downgraded by Moody's Investors Service as a direct result of going some eight months without state funding. The downgrades could pose a threat to the universities' accreditation.
Northeastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois University have had their credits downgraded to a notch above junk status, while Eastern Illinois University has been downgraded below investment grade, declaring that revenue bonds issued to the school would pose a credit risk to investors.
"The downgrade is driven by EIU's increasing vulnerability to the ongoing state budget impasse given its thin liquidity, declining enrollment, and high reliance on state funding. Liquid reserves are expected to be exhausted by the end of the fiscal year. The ratings incorporate the expectation that EIU will take the necessary actions to cut expenses and manage cash flow to meet all obligations," reads a statement by Moody's.
Each of the eight public universities in Illinois have a negative outlook by Moody's due to their lack of funding or cash flow, which has been caused by the budget impasse.