Background of the MDHE and ASA
The MDHE, a statewide resource for postsecondary assistance, administers state student financial assistance programs such as the Bright Flight scholarship program. The MDHE has also administered the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) in Missouri since 1979. On March 30, 2010 federal legislation was signed into law removing the authority of FFELP guarantors like the MDHE to guarantee new loans after June 30, 2010. All federal student loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2010 must be made by the federal government through the Federal Direct Loan Program. The MDHE is still administering its outstanding portfolio of loans guaranteed before June 30, 2010, and ASA is currently providing the MDHE's loan administration system and some loan administration services.

The MDHE's Partnership with ASA
The MDHE and ASA entered into a partnership on October 11, 2002, to provide student loan administration services that would result in greater functionality, superior service, and cost savings. Incorporated in 1956, ASA was the nation's first student loan guaranty agency.

Designed for the specific needs of MDHE customers, the MODEL Direct system is a flexible solution to student loan administration that provides improved functionality and customer service at a reasonable cost-saving the state of Missouri more than $16 million in administration costs throughout the life of the partnership.