Benedict College Is Deep in the Red: But the Black College Is Opening a Multimillion-Dollar Football Stadium

In July, Moody’s Investor Service downgraded the debt issues of Benedict College on two separate occasions. Benedict is a historically black educational institution in Columbia, South Carolina.

Moody’s now ranks Benedict’s debt at four levels below investment grade. In downgrading Benedict’s debt, Moody’s said that “declines in enrollment, two years of deficit operating margins, increased borrowing, and thin unrestricted cash” were all reasons contributing to the college’s problems.

Many private historically black colleges and universities are in deep financial trouble. But what is most troubling about the situation at Benedict College is that while it is mired in financial difficulty it has proceeded in the construction of a new $11-million football stadium. Even the stadium project is behind schedule. The new stadium was scheduled to host its first game this Saturday. But because construction is not complete, the first game and a black-tie grand opening celebration will not be held until late September.