Credit rating firm explains outlook change for ASU

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PHOENIX (AP) — Credit ratings firm Moody's says Arizona State's University's "strong culture of innovation" is one of the key reasons it changed the university's outlook from stable to positive, a move that signals a potential credit rating upgrade.

A Moody's report released Thursday cited ASU's development of new programs, expanded enrollment and new partnerships. That added up to healthy revenue growth and cash flow that boosted money available for investment despite weak state funding.

The ratings company notes that ASU tuition revenue has grown by 60 percent from 2011 to 2015 while its number of non-state resident students has risen.

Moody's says a credit upgrade from the current Aa3 level could occur within 18-24 months.

Credit upgrades help public and private agencies get better interest rates on capital improvement bonds.

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