Swings in Credit Ratings Hint of Challenges Ahead for Colleges

From 2009 through 2013, the number of downgrades of colleges' credit ratings by Moody's Investors Service outpaced upgrades by nearly five to one.

More evidence of colleges' weakening financial picture? Yes, but that picture is not as clear-cut as it might seem.

The period examined by The Chronicle covered the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, so those 141 downgrades versus 33 upgrades are not so surprising.