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Sallie Mae Spent $2.3 Million Lobbying on Student Lending Legislation, Other Issues in 2007


The nation’s largest student lender SLM Corp., better known as Sallie Mae, spent $2.3 million to lobby the federal government in the first half of 2007, according to a disclosure form.

The Reston, Va.-based company lobbied on numerous bills relating to student lending, according to the form posted online Aug. 14 by the Senate’s public records office.

President Bush signed legislation in September that would boost financial aid for college students by cutting some $20 billion in government subsidies to student lenders such as Sallie Mae.

An investor group is seeking to nullify its proposed $25 billion buyout of Sallie Mae partly because of that legislation, and a judge earlier this month set a tentative July trial date in the dispute.

Sallie Mae also is among a number of student lenders who have come under public and regulatory scrutiny over arrangements where universities received a share of the money that lenders made from loans to the schools.

Under a settlement with New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, Sallie Mae agreed to stop offering perks to college employees and to pay $2 million into a fund to educate students and parents about the financial aid industry.

Besides Congress, the company lobbied the White House, the Education Department and the Government Accountability Office.

Under a federal law enacted in 1995, lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches. They must register with Congress within 45 days of being hired or engaging in lobbying.

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