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Sallie Mae Signs Higher Education Pledge in Indiana

Initiative Promotes the Value of an Educated Workforce

INDIANAPOLIS, April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Indiana's leaders in higher education and business want to help more workers in the state achieve college degrees. Sallie Mae, the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education, today signed a pledge to support the effort.

Supported by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and led by WGU Indiana, the pledge commits employers, and other Indiana colleges and universities, to take action to increase degree attainment. The coalition seeks to engage 100 leaders in the state to sign the pledge by Governor Mike Pence's 100th day in office.

"We are excited that Sallie Mae is a part of our campaign to increase awareness of the importance of degree attainment," said WGU Indiana Chancellor Allison Barber. "In addition to signing the pledge, Sallie Mae is activating their commitment by becoming WGU Indiana's newest corporate partner. The new partnership allows their employees to qualify for our tuition discount program. The action behind their pledge is the catalyst for more adults to attain their degrees and advance in their careers."

As part of Sallie Mae's comprehensive benefits program, the company provides tuition reimbursement to employees for job-related courses taken in pursuit of a degree or certificate program. Sallie Mae also encourages employees to save regularly for future college expenses by offering payroll deductions for 529 Plans. Since Sallie Mae is enrolled in the WGU corporate discount program, its employees benefit from reduced tuition rates at the university. 

"For 40 years Sallie Mae has helped Americans turn education dreams into reality, and we're proud our commitment to education starts with our own people," said Jon Kroehler, senior vice president and head of Sallie Mae's Fishers center. "We invest about $1 million per year in tuition reimbursement for our employees, and realize a significant return in a more skilled workforce."

WGU Indiana plans to deliver the signed pledges to Indiana Governor Mike Pence on Tuesday, April 23, the Governor's 100th day in office.

About Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education. Celebrating 40 years of making a difference, Sallie Mae continues to turn education dreams into reality for American families, today serving 25 million customers. With products and services that include 529 college savings plans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search and planning tools, education loans, insurance, and online banking, Sallie Mae offers solutions that help families save, plan, and pay for college. Sallie Mae also provides financial services to hundreds of college campuses as well as to federal and state governments. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

About WGU Indiana is the state's nonprofit, online university established by the State of Indiana to expand access to higher education for Indiana residents. Using a competency-based model that allows students to proceed at their own pace and curriculum developed with input from leading employers, WGU Indiana offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, education, information technology and health professions, including nursing. In 2012, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education recognized WGU Indiana in its Reaching Higher, Achieving More agenda for its excellence in academic quality. The university was also recognized as one of Fast Company's 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2013.

Follow WGU Indiana:
http://www.facebook.com/wgu.edu  
http://www.linkedin.com/companies/western-governors-university  
http://twitter.com/wgu  
http://www.youtube.com/WesternGovernorsUniv  
http://news.wgu.edu/news/news.xml

Contact:
Sallie Mae: Nikki Lavoie, 302-283-4057, Nikki.Lavoie@SallieMae.com  
WGU: Charlie Henry, 317-631-6400, charlie.henry@borshoff.biz

Contact for enrollment information:
877-214-7014 
indiana.wgu.edu

SOURCE WGU Indiana

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