Sallie Mae, the nation's saving, planning, and paying for college company, received a " Financial Content Marketing Award" from the Gramercy Institute for its college planning and scholarship contest, the " Make College Happen Challenge." Sallie Mae was recognized for excellence in financial content marketing in the consumer-targeted category in the U.S.

Students from across the country entered the "Make College Happen Challenge," which asked high school students to describe creatively their plan to pay for college. After the judges narrowed down the finalists, voting was opened to the public who cast more than 35,000 votes for their favorite entries. Blake Takushi of Sugar Land, Texas, took home the top prize of $15,000; second-place winner Gabriel Gaurano of San Diego, California, won $10,000; and third-place winner Amy Wisegarver of Sammamish, Washington, won $8,000. The winners, along with the seven other finalists, each of whom received $1,000, were revealed during a special event on Facebook Live.

"Our primary goal for the 'Make College Happen Challenge' contest was to motivate high school students to develop a blueprint for how to pay for college," said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. "Receiving this accolade from the Gramercy Institute is a testament to those efforts."

The Gramercy Institute is an industry think-tank focused on the intellectual needs of senior marketers from the world's major financial firms. The "Financial Content Marketing Awards" recognize excellence and achievement in financial content marketing.

For more information on saving, planning, and 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, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, 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.

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