Powering confidence:

Environmental, social, and governance

Our integrated approach to ESG

Sallie Mae is uniquely positioned to make a significant impact. The alignment and integration of our ESG and business strategies support and reinforce the strength and value of our franchise.

We are dedicated to expanding higher education access, advocating for affordability, and helping students complete their higher education. This mission-aligned work is the foundation of our ESG strategy.


Inspired by academia, we prioritize our ESG focus areas into three pillars: Majors, Minors, and Core Requirements. 


Our Majors represent primary focus areas of ESG uniquely mission-aligned to Sallie Mae’s societal impact in providing opportunities for students and families to access and complete higher education. Our Majors are highly impactful and central to our core business and mission.


Our Minors complement our Majors with emerging and high-level expectations for Sallie Mae and all companies as responsible corporate citizens.

Core Requirements

Our Core Requirements represent best-practice ESG topic areas related to risk management, privacy, corporate governance, and regulatory requirements.

“I am extremely proud of our progress, and I’m confident our mission-aligned and integrated approach to ESG will continue to make a significant impact and support a more sustainable future.”

Jon Witter
Chief Executive Officer

John Witter

Advancing social impact 

Increasing access, affordability, and completion

“Achieving the dream of a higher education can open doors and create significant opportunities, but planning and preparing for this investment can be overwhelming. Sallie Mae aims to bridge those confidence gaps through our free tools and resources.”

Donna Vieira
Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer

Donna Vieira

Product innovation and empowerment through tools and resources

Sallie Mae is more than a leader in private student lending, we’re an education solutions company committed to providing innovative products, tools, and resources to help students and families make informed, confident decisions about their higher education journey.

Scholly by Sallie logo of dog wearing graduation cap.

Scholly by Sallie*

Recognizing the critical role scholarships play in making higher education attainable, Scholly raises awareness, simplifies the process, and connects more students and families to free funding opportunities regardless of their financial background.

Search scholarships

*By clicking the Scholly by Sallie link, you’ll go to our trusted affiliate Scholly’s site. Any information you provide will be shared with Sallie Mae and will be covered under the terms of the SLM Education Services, LLC privacy policy.

Smiling student holding a book.

Advancing college planning & financial literacy

We offer free tools and resources to all students and families to help them make informed decisions about planning and paying for college. Our goal is to do our part in helping remove barriers to higher education, particularly for those who need the most support.

Parent and student smiling at each other.

Industry-leading research

As a recognized thought leader, our reports provide insight into how American students and families approach higher education and finances—including How America Pays for College, How America Completes College, College Confidence: What America Knows About Paying for College, and more.

Two students smile and walk together.

Student support

Through a series of curated content, we aim to educate and support students through their higher education journeys. Our unique and engaging campaigns focus on confidence-building information and can be found on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify.

*By clicking the Scholly by Sallie link, you’ll go to our trusted affiliate Scholly’s site. Any information you provide will be shared with Sallie Mae and will be covered under the terms of the SLM Education Services, LLC privacy policy.



Strategic giving and community engagement

Through the philanthropic investments of The Sallie Mae Fund, we unlock the potential of higher education and give back to the communities where we live, work, and serve.

Delaware State University

In 2023, Sallie Mae committed a $1 million research endowment to Delaware State University to fund a three-year "Persistence and Completion Pilot Program" to help identify barriers to college completion. 

The program aims to understand and overcome obstacles to degree completion, facilitate the return to school of students who have some college but no degree, and develop policy recommendations and best practices that can be deployed at institutions nationwide. 

“When I think about the millions of talented students that stop going to school because of unexpected family obligations or financial challenges that simply could not be overcome, it is a loud alarm to us all that we should be doing more. Sallie Mae is answering the call.”

Tony Allen Ph.D.
President, Delaware State University
Chair of President Biden’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Headshot of Tony Allen Ph.D.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Through our multi-year partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund, approximately $3 million in scholarships have been awarded to students through The Sallie Mae Fund’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program – offering opportunities to high school seniors, graduate students, and those facing unexpected financial circumstances. Learn more about the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program.

Mission-aligned partnerships 

We support mission-aligned organizations at national and local levels, with a particular emphasis on investments that further social justice, equity, and inclusion.  

2023 Community investment highlights:

Scholarships awarded

Employee and matching gift contributions

Community development loans and investments

Sallie Mae Fund strategic investments

Employee volunteer hours

Investing in Our People

Talent engagement and development

Our commitment to our team members goes beyond the workplace. Robust training programs, continuous learning opportunities, competitive health benefits, and enhanced employee engagement continue to foster our mission-led culture.

We’ve been recognized as a top place to work

U.S. News and World Report has named Sallie Mae as one of the 2024-25 Best Companies to Work For based on how we support our people with a diverse, flexible work environment, opportunities for career advancement, and more.

Adoption-friendly workplace

For the third year in a row, The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption named Sallie Mae as one of the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces 2023 badge.

“Our approach to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace is to ensure all of our people feel heard, understood, respected, valued, safe, recognized, and rewarded.”

William Wolf
Chief People Officer

William Wolf

A group of students sitting outside smiling.

Promoting workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have always been at the heart of our culture. Our transformative and ongoing journey continues to empower our workforce. 

“DEI is my passion and my commitment to every employee at Sallie Mae. As an advocate, I’m dedicated to ensuring everyone is heard and to advance a culture where our team members can be themselves and fearlessly belong to do their best work.”

Kathy Edwards
Chief Diversity Officer

Kathy Edwards

Reducing our environmental footprint

Our team of facility experts actively monitors and manages our environmental impact. We continue to assess opportunities to reduce our energy use and emissions, design and retrofit our office spaces with more sustainable materials, and minimize the amount of waste generated in our offices.

We are committed to measuring and disclosing our emissions on an annual basis and continue to monitor our emissions and make responsible choices about how to address them in the future. 

We continue to offset our Scope 2 GHG emissions through the purchase of WindPower Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) which match our electricity use at our two largest locations.

We’ve signed a zero-waste agreement with our waste management and recycling provider, highlighting our dedication to sustainable practices.

Responsible governance

We set high standards and expectations for the ethical conduct of our leadership, team members, and our business. 

Sallie Mae’s governance framework is formed by our overarching code of conduct, corporate governance policies, Board committee charters, certificate of incorporation, and bylaws. We follow our corporate governance framework and fuel a strong commitment to diversity, corporate ethics and integrity, and business expertise, while continuing to build and maintain a diverse and effective Board of Directors.

“As Chair of the Sallie Mae Board of Directors, I continue to be inspired by the exceptional and diverse group of Directors who surround me. Together, alongside the company’s Executive Leadership team, we are navigating a path for Sallie Mae that remains steadfastly aligned with our mission while upholding principles of responsible, ethical, and inclusive governance.”

Mary Carter Warren Franke
Chair of Sallie Mae’s Board of Directors

Carter Franke

Additional resources

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Have any thoughts or comments about our ESG report?

Please email ESG@SallieMae.com