For Immediate Release
Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education completed the sale of $53.4 million in revenue bonds this month to provide additional funds for the SELF Loan program, which has provided low-interest loans to students since 1985. The bond sale will enable the agency to meet continuing strong demand for the SELF Loan program.
The program is operated at no cost to the state. SELF Loans are funded entirely by revenue bonds, investment earnings and loans repaid by borrowers. SELF Loan disbursements for fiscal year 2010 were $118 million for 23,000 students.
Funds generated by the bond sale, along with loan repayments from borrowers, and investment earnings will provide resources to enable the agency to make about 9,000 additional loans to students. The bond sale enabled the Office of Higher Education to offer a new 7.25 percent fixed interest rate alternative for students. A variable rate option will continue to be provided.
Minnesota students attending eligible postsecondary institutions within or outside Minnesota and non-residents attending eligible postsecondary institutions in Minnesota may apply for SELF Loans. There are no minimum or maximum income thresholds and no application fees. Students pay quarterly interest while in school.
"This was an important bond issue for the agency as it moves into a new fixed rate loan program. The sale at very good interest rates reflects very positively on the SELF program and Minnesota students," said Mark Misukanis, Director of Finance and Research for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
The bond sale was underwritten by Morgan Stanley and US Bancorp with U.S. Bank also serving as the trustee. Springsted Incorporated, Public Sector Advisors served as financial advisor to the Office of Higher Education.
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is a cabinet-level state agency providing students with financial aid programs and information to help them gain access to postsecondary education. In addition to the SELF Loan Program, the agency administers a large need-based state grant program that supplements the Federal Pell Grant program. The agency also oversees tuition reciprocity programs, Minnesota's 529 college savings program, institutional licensing and early college awareness initiatives. In addition, the agency serves as the state's clearinghouse for data, research and analysis on postsecondary enrollment, financial aid, finance and trends.
For information about the SELF Loan program, contact the financial aid office at the college you attend or are considering attending, or contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education at (800) 657-3866 or visit www.selfloan.org.