The higher ed bubble is having a heck of a week in Louisiana. reported.

5 Louisiana higher education institutions earn negative attention from credit rating agency

The national credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has placed five Louisiana higher education institutions on a negative credit watch list due to the state’s $1.6 billion budget shortfall.

The move affects Nicholls State University, University of Louisiana – Lafayette, University of New Orleans Research Foundation, LSU’s Bogalusa Community Medical Center Project and the Delgado Community College Foundation.

In at least one case, the negative credit watch applies to just a small portion of an institution’s total facility portfolio. The Delgado Community College Foundation only took out bonds for one of the school’s buildings – the Student Life Center. A considerable portion of the debt associated with that building — which was built in the late 1980s — has also been paid off, according to school officials.

In general, Louisiana higher education officials sought to play down the significance of the credit agency’s report, saying it was not an official move toward downgrading any institution’s credit rating. The announcement was not as significant — for example — as the change made to LSU’s credit outlook earlier this month, they said.

“This is a not a decision. This is an observation,” said Joseph Rallo, Louisiana’s higher education commissioner, about the Standard & Poor’s report.