Moody's Investor Services said Monday that it was reviewing for a possible downgrade the A1 credit rating of St. Mary's College of Maryland, which last week announced the resignation of its president amid news that the liberal arts school expects to fall significantly short of its freshmen admissions target.

The Southern Maryland honors college is 100 students shy of its 470 freshman goal as of last week, but for budgeting purposes, officials are estimating a deficit of up to 150 students and $3.5 million in tuition fees. It's the second year in a row that St. Mary's has missed its freshmen goal.

President Joseph R. Urgo, who has run St. Mary's for three years, last week asked that his contract not be renewed when it expires at the end of the month.

Both factors contributed to Moody's decision, the company said, along with the school's small balance sheet. Moody's said the review of the school, which carries a prime rating, should take 90 days. Any downgrade is likely to be incremental.

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