College & Workforce Readiness

Sallie Mae Launching Campaign To Hike Awareness of Aid Options

By Sean Cavanagh — January 29, 2003 2 min read

Spurred by a new poll showing that many families who most need financial aid for college have the least information about how to get it, a major lender is launching a three-year, $15 million awareness campaign.

The effort is aimed at boosting what disadvantaged students know about college, and how to pay for it, according to the SLM Corp., the Reston, Va., lender commonly known as Sallie Mae. The company, which sponsored the poll and initiated the campaign, is the nation’s largest private student-lending organization.

Sixty percent of individuals polled from families making less than $50,000 a year said they needed more information on how to pay for college. By contrast, only 37 percent of those from households earning more than $75,000 felt similarly uninformed, the survey found.

Released last week, the survey report was based on interviews with 811 18- to 24-year-olds and with 1,090 parents of college-age adults, by Harris Interactive, a marketing and consulting company based in Rochester, N.Y.

Titled “Financial Aid: The Information Divide,” the report shows that minority families were especially bereft of college-aid information. Sixty-six percent of African-American parents and 62 percent of Hispanic parents said they needed more information on how to pay for college, compared with 44 percent of white parents.

On average, Hispanic families also receive financial-aid information two years later—when a prospective college-going child is 17 years old—than African-American and white households, the poll found.

Plans for Campaign

Charles Tamez, the director of development for the League of United Latin American Citizens, based in Washington, said he was discouraged by the poll’s results, but not surprised. Many Latino mothers, fathers, and grandparents, he said, do not know how to begin researching about college and how to pay for it—especially if their own schooling went no further than high school.

“There’s not a strong prior history of going to college,” said Mr. Tamez, whose organization promotes economic, political, and social improvement for Latinos. “A lot of parents simply don’t know how to ask the questions. ... If they were aware, they’d take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.”

Sallie Mae’s awareness plan, called “Project Access,” centers on presenting financial-aid information to student and parents through workshops around the country, toll-free telephone services, and a half-hour television program called “Paying for College,” which the company says will air three times this spring in at least seven U.S. television markets.

Sallie Mae also will award more than $2 million in additional scholarships to low-income and minority students, among other initiatives, its officials said in a statement.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Interactive Learning Best Practices: Creative Ways Interactive Displays Engage Students
Students and teachers alike struggle in our newly hybrid world where learning takes place partly on-site and partly online. Focus, engagement, and motivation have become big concerns in this transition. In this webinar, we will
Content provided by Samsung
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor Are Students Ready for Post-Pandemic Reality?
Schools must make improving students' essential skills a priority for college and career success, says the CEO and president of CAE.
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness This Is Not a Good Time to Fall Off the College Track. Students Are Doing It Anyway
Fewer students in the Class of 2021 are applying for college financial aid, continuing a drop that started last year.
6 min read
Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form are on the decline.
Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form are on the decline.
Jon Elswick/AP
College & Workforce Readiness Student Interest in Health-Care Careers Takes Off During Pandemic
The coronavirus crisis is boosting a trend toward health-care and medical pathways. The challenge is getting students hands-on training.
7 min read
Nurse giving man injection
Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Thanks to COVID-19, High Schoolers' Job Prospects Are Bleak. Here's How Schools Can Help
The economic fallout from COVID-19 is speeding up workforce changes and vulnerable students are at greater risk of falling behind.
8 min read
African-American teen boy using laptop
Getty