Marymount Manhattan College Caveat Emptor

I taught at MMC for many years, and I say this with a heavy heart, be very careful about sending your child to this College because it is on the verge of total, financial collapse. This school is a case study in gross mismanagement beginning with the Board of Trustees who have completely shirked their oversight duties and allowed a petty, phony, insecure president to surround herself with incompetent sycophants, and within a very short amount of time, drive our college into a deep hole with no end in sight. In the last year, enrollments have plunged by about 20% and the school has virtually no endowment to draw upon. She is selling off assets (air rights to the buildings) to keep the school afloat, but this strategy will only keep the College solvent for one or two more years. Demand the trustees do their job and bring in a turnaround team before it is too late!! What will a degree be worth then? If you make a campus visit, ask some hard-hitting questions from administrators to the housekeeping staff. The truth is not pretty. #SaveMMC #DumpMMCWalk

Thank you @Cassandra1 for your post. My DD got accepted last week within a 24 hours of her submitting her application, with an incredible merit scholarship.
We will keep this in mind, and hopefully my DD will be accepted to her others schools. Too bad, MMC was her 2Nd choice.

This is scary. This is my daughters first choice. We haven’t committed yet as we are waiting her financial aid package.

@Mimi2018 have you received your completed financial aid package yet? My daughter has been accepted and is through with auditions but we are still waiting for three final financial aid package. She did receive a merit scholarship with her acceptance letter.

@melissaanne15 she received it today! I haven’t looked it over but I know she won’t qualify for any financial aid, just the merit aide she received.

I read the Moody’s report, which doesn’t sound like things are going too great for them financially, but also not the worst news I’ve ever read either.

This is very disturbing to say the least. My D is a freshman BFA and will likely stay for the next 3 years. Her class of MT and acting students is great and that doesn’t even count the dancers! Do you really think it is right to scare prospective students away? It’s really been a great program so far.

Please note the screen name of the OP. S/he has not been vetted by CC admins and could be anyone with an ax to grind.

Here is an article outlining the financial situation. While not great, it doesn’t seem as bad as the OP said .

Moody’s revises Marymount Manhattan College’s, NY outlook to negative; affirms Baa2

27 Jan 2020

New York, January 27, 2020 – Moody’s Investors Service has revised the outlook on Marymount Manhattan College, NY to negative from stable and has affirmed the Baa2 rating on the Series 2009 Bonds issued by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.


The revision of the outlook to negative is based on a significant enrollment decline in fall 2019 and projected weakening of financial performance for fiscal 2020. Marymount Manhattan College (MMC)'s credit profile has weakened in the last two years due to growing financial aid and enrollment challenges. FTE (full time equivalent) enrollment declined by 3% in fall 2018 and a material 10% in fall 2019 which is going to impact financial performance materially given the overly high reliance (93%) on student charges. Low liquidity, with 106 days cash on hand, and weak fundraising remain credit challenges.

The affirmation of the college’s Baa2 rating is due a strong track record of good fiscal discipline resulting in consistently positive cash flows and good debt service coverage, as well as a one-time influx of substantial cash in fiscal 2020. While the fall 2019 enrollment decline of 10% will result in weaker fiscal 2020 financial performance, the college has implemented expense reduction measures to narrow the operating deficit to $1.3 million in fiscal 2020 as compared to $900,000 surplus in fiscal 2019. Additionally, as the result of the 1986 sale of its air rights on one of its buildings, the college has received a one-time $9.6 million influx in cash, which will be booked as in revenue in fiscal 2020. These funds will bolster the college’s flexible reserves and provide the college time to invest in its market and stabilize enrollment. MMC further benefits from its marketable real estate holdings in Manhattan, and its leverage remains manageable from an operating perspective.


The negative outlook reflects the likelihood of a rating downgrade if the college is not able to stabilize fall 2020 enrollment and improve financial results in fiscal 2021.


  • Sustained improvement in student demand, reflected in a stronger yield rate on accepted students and consistent growth in net tuition per student
  • Substantial growth of flexible reserves on an absolute basis and relative to debt and expenses


  • Inability to stabilize fall 2020 enrollment and improve financial performance for fiscal 2021
  • Increased leverage absent offsetting growth in revenues and cash and investments


The Series 2009 revenue bonds are secured by general revenues of college and additionally secured by a mortgage pledge on a condominium building and a cash funded debt service reserve fund. All of the college’s debt is fixed rate with level amortization through fiscal 2029. There are no interest rate derivatives. The college is required to comply with two financial covenants on these bonds. It is required to maintain a debt service coverage ratio equal to or greater than 1.25x (fiscal 2019: 1.7x). The college is also required to maintain an Available Assets to Debt Ratio greater than 25% (fiscal 2019: 99%). In the event that the college is unable to meet these covenants, the bond trustee may require the college to retain a management consultant.


Marymount Manhattan College, located on New York City’s Upper East Side, is a small, independent liberal arts college offering programs in the arts and sciences and pre-professional preparation with a niche in performance arts.


The principal methodology used in this rating was Higher Education published in May 2019. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on for a copy of this methodology.


For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody’s rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider’s credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody’s legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Pranav Sharma
Lead Analyst
Higher Education
Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.
7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street
New York 10007
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Eva Bogaty
Additional Contact
Regional PFG West
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Releasing Office:
Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007