Great Southern Bancorp Inc. of Springfield, Mo., has received $57.9 million from the Treasury Department's Small Business Lending Fund and will use the proceeds to exit the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The $3.4 billion-asset Great Southern is one of roughly 80 community banks approved to participate in the $30 billion program. The $57.9 million it received is the most awarded to a single institution since the Treasury began disbursing the funds last month.

In a news release Thursday, Great Southern said it has paid the Treasury $7.9 million in dividends and that it would use the money from the SBLF to pay the balance of $58 million it received from Tarp in December 2008.

Great Southern has 76 branches in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.

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