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Put your college planning on track

When it comes to paying for college first look for money you won’t have to pay back (scholarships and grants). Then explore federal student loans. Finally, consider a responsible private student loan to cover the rest.


Financial aid

Student loans

2017 Bridging the Dream Scholarship winners

Inspiring students are $25,000 closer to achieving their college dreams.

Meet our winners

2017 scholarship winner

Tools to help you plan and pay

Learn about the
1-2-3 approach

Explore how you can follow a step-by-step method to pay for college.

See the 1-2-3 approach to paying

Build a customized
financial plan for college

Our college planning calculator can estimate college costs, based on your situation.

Make a plan for college

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Access more than 5 million college scholarships worth up to $24 billion.

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Compare your financial aid award letters

If you filled out a FAFSA, schools will send you a financial aid award letter. Understand what’s in your award letters, what makes one offer different than the others, and more.

Learn about your award letters

#MissionFinish Contest winner

A lucky customer won up to $10,000 to help pay down their Sallie Mae® student loan.

Meet the winner

You could win $1,000 in our monthly Plan for CollegeSM sweepstakes

Register to use Scholarship Search for a chance to win.

Register for a chance to win

Celebrating National School Counseling Week

Counseling is not for the weak. But at the end of the day, it’s worth it. Even if it’s a small push…it could be that one kid who decided at the last minute, 'I want to go to college.'

Gianna M.,
School counselor, Houston, TX

How American families pay for college


is paid by scholarships and grants

is paid by parent income and savings

is paid by student borrowing

is paid by student income and savings

is paid by parent borrowing

Source: How America Pays for College 2017, by Sallie Mae and Ipsos. Top five ways; does not total 100%.

 No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. See official rules at