higher Education and Non-Profit Financing

Higher Education & Nonprofit

Finance Group

Our Higher Education & Nonprofit Finance Group maintains one of the industry's most experienced and skilled quantitative finance groups specializing in higher education finance. We also provide our education clients with a strong regional and national distribution network. GKB has a depth of experience underwriting a multitude of higher education bonds including general revenue/receipts, auxiliary systems and other specific auxiliary facility revenue bonds. We offer expertise in the areas of privatized student housing, credit analyses and presentations, and debt capacity analysis.

Higher Education & Nonprofit Office Locations:

Creative Financing Leadership

George K. Baum & Company has introduced many innovative and successful financing structures on behalf of our higher education clients. We are recognized as one of the nation's financing experts for privatized student housing and auxiliary financings. We also have a wealth of experience with interest rate swaps, interest rate caps and other derivatives products. George K. Baum & Company also maintains a database of key rating factors for the bonds of more than 500 rated public and private colleges and universities, a tool which is used to help institutions determine their likely rating category should they pursue a rating. 

The following are brief summaries of some of our innovative approaches to higher education financings. 


George K. Baum & Company has Largest Market Share of Non-Recourse Student Housing Projects
Recognized as the nation's financing expert for privatized student housing, George K. Baum & Company has worked with colleges and universities from coast to coast in analyzing the pros and cons of pursuing privatized student housing. George K. Baum & Company has worked extensively with the rating agencies and bond insurers in their development of underwriting criteria for privatized student housing, and we work with all major privatized student housing developers.


Interest Rate Caps

Interest Rate Cap Case Study - Mercer University

In 2003, Mercer University issued $30 million of revenue bonds to finance a variety of projects including the construction of a University Center (an intramural athletic facility with food service, meeting rooms and offices) and renovations to the Campus Bookstore, Student Center Cafeteria, and various other buildings on the University's campus. Seeking to take advantage of the lower interest rates typically found on the shorter end of the yield curve, the University decided to issue the bonds in a variable rate mode with an 'Aa3' letter of credit provided by Branch Banking & Trust Company.

The bonds represented the first variable rate transaction for the University. George K. Baum & Company worked with the University in selecting the most appropriate derivative product to hedge the interest rate risk associated with a variable rate financing. Mercer came to the conclusion that purchasing an interest rate cap would be the best solution as it would allow the University to benefit from the low interest rate market prevalent at the time while setting a defined limit to their exposure to any increases in variable rates. READ MORE


Investment Agreements

The Ins and Outs of Investment Agreements

What is an investment agreement?
An investment agreement is a contract between a bond issuer and the provider of the investment agreement (typically a subsidiary of a bank or other financial institution). The provider agrees to invest the issuer's funds, such as a debt service reserve and construction funds, at a guaranteed interest rate. In addition to the interest rate, the agreement specifies the length of time the funds are to be invested and the instruments in which the provider is allowed to invest, which may include Treasury securities, agency obligations and commercial paper.

Are there different types of investment agreements?
Generally, an investment agreement may be collateralized or uncollateralized.READ MORE


GKB devotes extensive resources to the development of each credit package with the intention of exceeding the expectations of the rating agencies and banks. Standard & Poor’s has described GKB’s credit package as “industry leading.” In addition to the financial projections model, GKB works with the school in drafting a disclosure document known as “Appendix A.” The document is highly beneficial to the reader and addresses all of the key credit considerations for an institution. We enjoy developing the full credit package due to the highly in-depth view we gain of the school and the opportunity to provide a unique service.


George K. Baum & Company pioneered a financing structure that has allowed a variety of colleges and universities to achieve an investment-grade rating and issue long-term, tax-exempt bonds for auxiliary facilities. We have worked with colleges and universities throughout the nation on auxiliary facility financings including:

California State University
Salt Lake Community College
Trustees of Colorado State Colleges
Casper College
Boise State University
Idaho State University
Minnesota State University
University of Missouri
Texas A&M University System
University of Texas
Rangely Community College
Southern Utah University
University of Colorado


George K. Baum & Company has prepared many debt capacity studies and rating agency presentations. Using medians published by S&P and Moody's for institutions of higher education, George K. Baum & Company performs extensive credit analyses for its higher education clients. We have built a database of the key rating factors for more than 500 rated public and private colleges' bonds. By examining a variety of credit factors, including enrollment trends, selectivity, matriculations and an income statement and balance sheet analysis, our Firm evaluates the credit-worthiness of its clients. This analysis helps institutions to determine their likely rating category should they pursue a rating, and also helps institutions to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as compared to their peer groups.

The list below includes some of the private colleges and universities for whom we have prepared debt capacity studies and rating agency presentations.

Colorado College
Grinnell College
Pace University
University of Puget Sound
University of San Diego
Whitman College
Whittier College


To: Our Valued Clients and Friends
For the past 10 years, George K. Baum & Company's Higher Education & Nonprofit Finance Group has compiled an extensive database of financial information on colleges, universities, community colleges, non-recourse student housing projects, K-12 independent schools and nonprofit organizations nationwide. These statistical facts are now easily accessible, serving as a sourcebook useful in developing:

• Credit Profiles of Colleges and Not-for-Profit Organizations
• Debt Capacity Studies, and
• Comparative Financial Performance Studies

Our database consists of facts from more than 476 private universities, 738 public universities, 243vassociate of arts colleges, 137 independent schools, 87 not-for-profit organizations and 200 student housing bond issues. Information includes credit ratings from Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's and Fitch; statistics on enrollment, endowments and debt; debt/total endowment percentages; figures on unrestricted/expendable resources, freshman selection/matriculation percentages and SAT/ACT median scores; tuition and fees dependency; and more. As a courtesy to our clients and friends, George K. Baum & Company wishes to share this invaluable information with those interested in higher education and not-for-profit finance.





Public-Private Partnership
George K. Baum & Company structured a lease revenue bond issue to allow for the construction of a joint training facility for Salt Lake Community College and Union Pacific Railroad. This concept serves as a model for cost-effective, public-private partnerships between institutions of higher education and corporations.
Our Higher Education Finance professionals provide a wide range of services to our clients. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Clients
  • Privatized Student Housing

 National HE Client Map 2016

The above list is a representative client list of George K. Baum & Company. The names on this list are not to be construed as an endorsement or recommendation of George K. Baum & Company's services. George K. Baum & Company has worked with the schools on this list or the foundations that serve them to manage and/or underwrite bond financings.


The above list is a representative client list of George K. Baum & Company. The Names on this list are not to be construed as an endorsement or recommendation of George K. Baum & Company's Services. George K. Baum & Company has worked with the schools on this list or the foundations that serve them to manage and/or underwrite bond financings.

1400 Wewatta Street, Suite 800 | Denver, CO 80202 | 800-722-1670