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National Decision Day Means Important Choices for Millions of Future College Freshmen and Their Families

NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Sallie Mae Offers Tips to Help College-Bound Families Make A Decision Worth Celebrating

Millions of high school seniors are gearing up for National Decision Day, or College Signing Day, on May 1, the date for that all-important decision on where to attend college. With students and families ready to send in their deposits to make their commitment official, Sallie Mae offers the following tips to help them get prepared for college life, including how to cover any remaining costs:

  • Continue to apply for college scholarships. The search for scholarships doesn’t end after being accepted, or committed, to a school. Using Sallie Mae’s free online Scholarship Search, students and parents can quickly identify scholarships still available for the upcoming school year, including many with deadlines between now and the end of summer. Sallie Mae has a free scholarship search tool, home to more than five million scholarships worth up to $24 billion, at www.SallieMae.com/ScholarshipSearch.
  • Make FAFSA a must-do. There’s still time to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can grant access to more than $150 billion in federal student aid, including grants, scholarships, and loans. The sooner a student can file, the better, and families should be especially mindful of any state deadlines, which can be found at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
  • Network with classmates. Connecting with future dorm neighbors and classmates doesn’t have to wait until getting to campus; students and parents can find groups on social media channels specifically for incoming freshmen to meet and chat about what’s to come.
  • Prioritize your plan to pay. According to “How America Values College 2018”, while going to college is a given for most American families, only 42% of parents have planned how to pay for it. Free planning tools, like Sallie Mae’s College Planning Calculator, can estimate the current and future expenses of any school. You can see the full cost of college, including tuition, room and board, books, supplies, and transportation costs, while factoring in savings, scholarships, grants, and loans. There’s even a guideline to help students consider their loan payment compared to the salary needed to help support it.
  • Finish strong. It’s easy to let the anticipation of summer distract from what’s at hand: wrapping up senior year with strong grades and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Consider a private student loan to supplement financial aid. A private student loan may be right for those who still have a gap after exploring federal financial aid, or for those who want to investigate whether they qualify for a lower interest rate based on good credit. Students should consider interest rates, fees, repayment terms, and benefits of various loan products. With Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan, students can graduate with less student loan debt by opting to make payments while in school. To learn more, visit www.SallieMae.com.

“By now, most college-bound seniors have visited potential college campuses, reviewed their financial aid award letters, and considered the different cultures of each potential college or university,” said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. “Now it’s time for that hard work to pay off, and for students to decide where, and how, to start what’s next. The journey to and through college is a valuable one, and we look forward to equipping students with the tools, resources, and responsible financing they need to make it happen.”

For more information on saving, planning, or paying for college, visit SallieMae.com.

Sallie Mae (SLM) is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance, including private education loans, free scholarship search tools, free college financial planning tools, and online retail banking. 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.

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