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

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

NEWARK, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”” target=”_blank”gt;#DecisionDaylt;/agt;–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
  • 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
  • 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

“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

Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: 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 Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM
Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the
United States of America.


Ashley Boucher

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