Our CSR report highlights by Sallie Mae® efforts to manage the effects of COVID-19, advance diversity and equality in higher education, serve our customers, invest in the workforce, build stronger communities, protect the environment, and maintain strong governance and ethics.


Providing relief amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

As COVID-19 changed the world around us, Sallie Mae moved quickly to help customers and communities and protect the health and safety of team members.

Offered customers facing financial difficulties the option to pause loan payments

Quickly made investments to safely and securely provide team members access to work from home

Donated $1 million to local food banks, resulting in 2 million lbs. of food, 900,000 meals, and PPE for volunteers and workers

Advancing equality through higher education

The Sallie Mae Fund committed $4.5 million over the next three years to help students from underserved communities access and complete higher education.

Refocused The Sallie Mae Fund Bridging the Dream Scholarship program

to empower minority students with access to higher education through 75 $10,000 scholarships

Launched our new Completing the Dream Scholarship program

to provide 780 scholarships over the next three years to help minority students complete their post-secondary education program

Committed $1.5 million in grants to support nonprofit organizations helping to advance social justice through education.

In 2020, a total of $500,000 was awarded to the following:

a headshot of Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. He is looking at the camera and standing in front of a brick building.
“A college degree positions students for greater career success and spurs the kind of economic mobility that can change the life trajectory for a student. That’s why we are thrilled to partner with Sallie Mae on this scholarship program.”

Dr. Harry L. Williams, President and CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund

a coral to yellow gradient colored icon of a heart.

Powering stronger, more resilient communities

Giving back to the communities where our team members live, work, and serve is central to who we are.

Awarded $2.2 million in grants and scholarships

to causes supported by our team members

Team members were powered with 6 days of paid time off

to volunteer with organizations they care about

Awarded grants to organizations

like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, Folds of Honor, and Year Up Wilmington

“I volunteered for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Delaware and was matched to an amazing young man named Michel. He needed some direction and help in life and I was able to provide that for him. I met him at 14 and he is now 23 and an active and outgoing person in our community. Through the years I have been able to help him grow into the amazing young adult he is today. When he turned 18, he took on my name and I’m proud to call him my son.” 
Andrew Zeltt, Director, Compliance

Powering our customers

As a leader in private student lending, we’re here to forge a path for our customers to access and complete higher education.

Sallie Mae is committed to helping customers make informed choices about higher education. That’s why we provide tools and resources, to customers and non-customers alike, to help ensure students don’t pay more for higher education than necessary.

Introduced a simplified way to apply for financial aid

making it simpler and faster for students to complete the FAFSA®(and maximize aid before they come to us for private student loans)

Connected more than 24,000 students to scholarships

covering $67 million in college costs, reducing the out-of-pocket expense for college

Offered FREE financial literacy curriculum to high school students

Topics include saving, budgeting, financial aid, student loans, and repaying loans responsibly

a headshot of Jen O'Donald, Senior Vice President of Sallie Mae. She is smiling at the camera and is in a boardroom or office.
“Financial literacy provides students with a strong foundation of knowledge and confidence in making informed decisions about the future. That future includes planning and paying for higher education, which is one of the first major financial decisions for many students and families. We want families to make these decisions with eyes wide open, and that means providing critical education and information early in the process.”
Jen O’Donald, Senior Vice President, Sallie Mae

Powering our team members 

Through a mission-led culture, we’re committed to creating an environment where team members feel appreciated, engaged, and inspired to make a difference.

Just as we help customers achieve their goals through higher education, we help our employees on their own professional journeys by providing opportunities to thrive. 

Provided more than 19,000 hours of primary parental leave and 3,000 hours of secondary parental leave

to team members in 2020

Began our process for hiring a Diversity and Inclusion Officer in 2020

putting us on track to create a more inclusive and just workplace

107 team members used our tuition reimbursement benefit in 2020

which provides up to $10,000 for job-related courses or degrees

a headshot of Patrick Chaing, Associate General Counsel at Sallie Mae.
“I’ve had the opportunity to advance my own education through Sallie Mae’s tuition reimbursement benefits, which opened up doors for me to serve on the board of a charity, Pathway Homes, Inc., where I assist with fundraising and strategic oversight.”
Patrick Chaing, Associate General Counsel

Powering the environmental movement

Our team actively manages our environmental impact.

We look for ways to reduce our energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions, procure more sustainable materials, and minimize the amount of waste generated in our offices.

We’re also proud to help aspiring environmental change agents prepare for their careers through higher education.

reduction in paper usage and waste

in 2020

of customers opted to “go paperless”

with electronic statements by end of 2020

“By getting the graduate degree in engineering that I always dreamed of, I was able to launch a cleantech startup. I come to work excited every day, forever thankful for the student loans that enabled me to pursue my passion.”
Nicholas, CA, Sallie Mae customer
“For the past two years, I’ve been working on a solution for global warming.  Now as a Funded Futures recipient, I have the opportunity to pay for my provisional patent and see my ideas come to life.”
Julia S., Washington and Lee University student, who aspires to be the first African American woman to own an environmental firm

Powering responsible and ethical corporate governance

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

Carter Franke, the first woman to serve as our Board Chair,

was appointed in 2020

Recognized as a 2020 Women on Boards Winning “W” company

for the past six years

“Higher education is an investment that empowers students’ future opportunities. As the leader in private student lending, our role is to help families make that investment responsibly.
Our Board appreciates that our customers’ success yields our company’s success. We are focused and aligned on providing more value to more customers to enable their positive outcomes and bright futures.”
Carter Franke, Chair of Sallie Mae Board of Directors 

Have any thoughts or questions about our CSR program?

Please email CSR@SallieMae.com.

FAFSA is a registered service mark of U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid