William Woods University Becomes Debt Free

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FULTON - William Woods University will join a small group of private colleges by declaring itself debt free on September 1, 2013.

The university paid the remaining $8 million in bonds, which were issued to the school in the 1990s.

The bonds were scheduled to be paid off through 2025, but the university felt it would benefit from paying the debt early.

Vice President of University Advancement Dan Diedriech said timing played into the university's decision to pay off the bonds.

"The president and the board of trustees took a look at our financial situation and found us to be in really good shape," he said. "They found if they retired the bonds early, they could save the institution about $2.8 million."

According to Diedriech, the university was able to pay off the bonds through the earnings on the school's endowment.

"We haven't had to spend the earnings on our endowment on operational costs in about 13 years," Diedriech said. "That's why the funds were available."

Instead of spending the earnings on operational costs, Diedriech said the university chose to reinvest the earnings in the endowment and has been doing so for over a decade.

A history of good budgeting practices also played a signficant role.

"Financial practices like having a balanced budget for well over a decade has also been good news for us," he said. "Ultimately, all of this adds up to really goods news for our students."

Diedriech said the students at William Woods stand to gain the most from the school being debt free.

"We're able to reinvest in the learning and living environment of the campus, which is good news for everybody," Diedriech said.

Diedriech also attributes strong academic decisions made by the president and the board of trustees as a facilitator in sound financial standing.

"It's because of the strong forethinking of the president and the board academically that has made us strong academically, that we're able to have such good news financially."