Utah will soon issue $170 million in student revenue bonds.

No protesters appeared at the public hearing held Friday on whether the regents should issue the tax-exempt bonds, which will be used to refinance student loans. The hearing is required by federal law.The series of bonds, which will mature between 1992 and 2017, will have interest rates between 6.85 and 7 percent. They will be used to pay off the Student Loan Marketing Association, a government-chartered, private corporation that has loaned $140 million in the past four years to the regents to buy student loans from local lending institutions.

The other $30 million will be used to pay commissions and other financing costs and to provide new money to buy other student loans.

Students first borrow the money from local lending institutions, but the lenders later sell the loans to the regents when the lenders want to use the money tied up by the loans.