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Press release from Business Wire

Census Bureau Announces Record Level of Education Attainment in America

<p class='bwalignc'> <b>Sallie Mae Issues Statement on Value of Education</b> </p>

Monday, February 27, 2012

Census Bureau Announces Record Level of Education Attainment in America11:10 EST Monday, February 27, 2012 NEWARK, Del. (Business Wire) -- Sallie Mae, the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education, today issued a statement about the U.S. Census Bureau recent report on educational attainment in the United States, which found that a record number of Americans—61 million—have earned a bachelor's degree or higher. This figure represents 30 percent of the adult population ages 25 and older, up from 1998 when less than a quarter of the population had attained this level of education and up from 5 percent in 1947. The Census Bureau also concluded that bachelor's degree recipients on average earned 70 percent more than those with a high school degree, while advanced degree recipients earned 123 percent more. In addition, Americans with bachelor's or advanced degrees were two to three times less likely to be unemployed than those with a high school degree. Sallie Mae issued the following statement: Clearly, education continues to be the foundation for opportunity in America and significantly improves employment prospects and earnings power in all economic times. The record number of Americans—61 million people—who earned a college degree did so by tapping a variety of financial resources. Since our founding in 1972, Sallie Mae is proud to have assisted more than 31 million Americans as they pursued their education dreams. With college savings programs, scholarship search tools, interest-free tuition installment programs, education loans and insurance, it will be our privilege to serve 31 million more as they save, plan and pay for college. Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae turns education dreams into reality for its 25 million customers. With products and services that include college savings programs, scholarship search tools, education loans, tuition 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. Sallie MaePatricia Nash Christel, 302-283-4076Patricia.Christel@salliemae.com