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MOHELA board approves student loan asset sale

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By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – The board that oversees Missouri's student loan agency Wednesday approved a plan to sell $350 million dollars in assets.

Governor Matt Blunt, a Republican, wants to use the money to fund campus construction projects.

The four Blunt appointees on the board voted in favor of the plan, while two members that former Democratic Governor Bob Holden appointed voted against it.

John Greer was one of the 'no' votes. He said there was no outside review, and too many uncertainties remain.

"I just don't think you can put figures together enough to show me that you can take that kind of money away from us and not harm our mission and our endeavor to help students in repayment," Greer said. "Maybe it'll come around. But there are so many ifs in the proposition, that it doesn't hold water."

Supporters of the plan, including state Economic Development director Greg Steinhoff say MOHELA's mission will not change, and universities in Missouri will benefit.

"What happened today will be regarded for decades to come as a significant investment in the future of higher education in the state of Missouri," Steinhoff said.

The plan is not a done deal yet though. It can only go into effect if the General Assembly approves it next year. Attorneys added that provision in an attempt to avoid lawsuits.

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