© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Previously, we determined microRNA-31 (miR-31) is a noncoding tumor suppressive gene frequently deleted in glioblastoma (GBM); miR-31 suppresses tumor growth, in part, by limiting the activity of NF-κB. Herein, we expand our previous studies by characterizing the role of miR-31 during neural precursor cell (NPC) to astrocyte differentiation. We demonstrate that miR-31 expression and activity is suppressed in NPCs by stem cell factors such as Lin28, c-Myc, SOX2 and Oct4. However, during astrocytogenesis, miR-31 is induced by STAT3 and SMAD1/5/8, which mediate astrocyte differentiation. We determined miR-31 is required for terminal astrocyte differentiation, and that the loss of miR-31 impairs this process and/or prevents astrocyte maturation. We demonstrate that miR-31 promotes astrocyte development, in part, by reducing the levels of Lin28, a stem cell factor implicated in NPC renewal. These data suggest that miR-31 deletions may disrupt astrocyte development and/or homeostasis.