Sallie Mae Offers Spring Break Advice to College-Bound High School Seniors

RESTON, Va., March 24 /PRNewswire/ — While the lure of a spring-break beach vacation sounds appealing for college-bound students, using the time instead to visit campuses could be time better well spent.

Sallie Mae’s comprehensive online “going-to-college” Web site CollegeAnswer.com offers tools and resources to help students and their families make the most of their college visits over spring break.

“Visiting a variety of schools can help students and their families get the true feel of a college campus before making an actual commitment. Remember, this is where the student will be spending the next four years of his or her life,” says Martha Holler, Sallie Mae spokesperson. “Spring break is an ideal time for students and families to visit prospective colleges.”

Sallie Mae’s CollegeAnswer.com offers the following tips for college-bound students and families when they visit college campuses:

* Do as much advance work as possible. Doing some prep work always is a
good idea before venturing onto a college campus. Decide what you want
to learn about the school and put together a list of questions. Use the
same list for every school so that you can make fair comparisons. Visit
the college’s Web site to learn more about campus life.

* Save time and money: When possible, bundle school visits geographically
with a planned vacation, a visit to extended family or a parent’s
business trip.

* Schedule visits at least two weeks in advance. Call the admissions
office to arrange the visit and inquire about campus tours. Ask if you
can sit in on classes, eat with the students and use the campus
facilities.

* Take the campus tour. An escorted tour of the campus usually provides
more access to the campus and your guide can be a great source of candid
information. If the school offers the tour, sign up!

* Live the life of a student on campus. Try to experience the every day
life of a college student. Eat in the dining hall, read the campus
paper, take school transportation and, if possible, sit in on classes
and spend a night in the dorm.

* Ask questions. This is your chance to discover things you will learn no
other way. Ask students what they like best and least about the school,
what they think about dorm life, what they would change, what the campus
is like on weekends, how safe the campus is and which professors are
best.

* Take notes. Pay attention to first impressions. Is this where you want
to live and go to school for four years? Make notes to jog your memory
when decision time comes, and when something catches your interest,
follow up with a phone call or an e-mail.

* Send a thank-you note. After visiting a college, remember to send
thank-you notes to everyone you met. It is a courtesy that could help
get you noticed.

CollegeAnswer.com has tools that allow prospective students to evaluate which schools best fit their needs. Students can search for a college by name, state and characteristics from a database of nearly 4,000 colleges and universities. For more information visit http://www.collegeanswer.com/.

SLM Corporation (NYSE:SLM) , commonly known as Sallie Mae, is the nation’s No. 1 paying-for-college company, managing more than $107 billion in student loans for more than 7 million borrowers. Sallie Mae was originally created in 1972 as a government-sponsored entity (GSE) and terminated all ties to the federal government in 2004. The company remains the country’s largest originator of federally insured student loans. Through its specialized subsidiaries and divisions, Sallie Mae also provides debt management services as well as business and technical products to a range of business clients, including colleges, universities and loan guarantors. More information is available at http://www.salliemae.com/. SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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