These loans helped fund a time in my life that I will always cherish. - Tyler F., Washington
Sallie Mae has undergone significant transformations since its creation as a government-sponsored enterprise. Four decades of innovation and change have made Sallie Mae the leading financial services company specializing in education.



Sallie Mae celebrates 40 years of helping make education accessible to families around the country.


Upromise by Sallie Mae increases cash back rewards for college.

Sallie Mae expands its private education loan options by introducing a new fixed interest rate version of the Smart Option Student Loan.

For the third consecutive year, the Sallie Mae Money Market Account is recognized by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine as “the best place to stash cash” due to market-leading pricing, competitive interest rates, no monthly fees, and no minimum balance.


Sallie Mae expands its saving, planning, and paying for college financial services initiatives with retail banking products: high-yield savings accounts, CDs, and checking accounts through Sallie Mae Bank® and credit cards with rewards to help pay down education loans.

Sallie Mae Insurance Services launches, featuring products to help families protect their investment in higher education.

Sallie Mae begins trading on the NASDAQ stock market under the ticker symbol SLM.


Congress passes the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which eliminates the public-private partnership Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Effective July 1, 2010, all federal loans are originated directly by the U.S. Department of Education.



The Smart Option Student Loan® is introduced, an innovative loan that provides life-of-loan savings with in-school interest payments.

Sallie Mae is selected to service federal loans on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education.


The Higher Education Opportunity Act enacted, providing new guidelines regarding lender-school relations and loan application disclosures.


Sallie Mae becomes the nation's leading saving-for-college company with the acquisition of Upromise® and Upromise Investments®.


Sallie Mae is fully privatized, four years ahead of schedule.


The company acquires two industry-leading default management and collections companies to extend services to schools, guarantors, and borrowers.



Shareholders approve privatization of Sallie Mae.


First securitization transaction valued at $1 billion.

SallieMae.com launched.


William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program enacted into law. Clinton Administration announces that Sallie Mae should restructure itself from a GSE to a private company.


Sallie Mae introduces incentives to reward borrowers for establishing good repayment habits.


Sallie Mae creates The Sallie Mae Fund. Over the next two decades, the Fund will contribute more than $125 million to increase access to higher education and to support local communities.



Number of Sallie Mae employees doubles in one year as three new servicing centers are opened to better serve customers.

Sallie Mae owns 24 percent of student loans outstanding, servicing 2 million accounts.


Sallie Mae shares publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol SLM.



Total assets exceed $1 billion.


Board authorizes in-house loan servicing operations.


First shareholder meeting is held.

First loan is purchased from 1st Pennsylvania Bank.


The Student Loan Marketing Association (nicknamed “Sallie Mae”) opens its doors as a Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE). It is designed to support the guaranteed student loan program created by the Higher Education Act of 1965.