Sallie Mae’s ‘Make College Happen Challenge’ to Reward Students Planning for College

Nation’s Saving, Planning, and Paying for College Company to Award nearly $25,000 to High School Students Who Creatively Describe How They Plan to Pay for College

Thursday, October 15, 2015 1:50 pm EDT



Public Company Information:

"We work with students, families, and schools to create dynamic educational programs designed to foster innovation and provide our young people with the skills they need to compete in a 21st century economy"

NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--How do you plan to pay for college? That is the question students ages 14-18 will answer as part of Sallie Mae's "Make College Happen Challenge." The contest, conducted in partnership with By Kids for Kids, a leader in education that inspires innovation in youth, will reward 10 high school students who creatively communicate their plan to pay for college in videos, photos, essays, songs, or poems.

Available to students nationwide, Sallie Mae’s “Make College Happen Challenge” will award a first place prize of $10,000; second place $5,000; third place $2,500; and $1,000 to seven semifinalists. Students may submit their entries Oct. 15 through Dec. 15.

“We work with students, families, and schools to create dynamic educational programs designed to foster innovation and provide our young people with the skills they need to compete in a 21st century economy,” said Norman Goldstein, CEO & Founder, By Kids For Kids. “Providing the motivation and incentive to reach for and achieve the dream of a college education is integral to that mission. We are proud to partner with Sallie Mae to help students and families get on the right track to make college happen.”

The 10 finalists will be announced in January based on creativity of entry, effective communication of the message, and potential of their plan. The public will then have the opportunity to choose their favorite entry from the 10 finalists by voting online for a week in February. Top online voting entries combined with judges’ scores will determine the contest winners who will be announced in March.

“Sallie Mae's mission is to make the dream of higher education a reality, and sometimes, to reach that dream, you need to be creative,” said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. “Every student should have the opportunity to make college happen and that starts with a plan. This contest acknowledges and rewards those students who are taking those all-important steps to prepare for their future.”

Sallie Mae offers a number of free planning-for-college tools, including the College Planning Calculator and Scholarship Search by Sallie Mae. The company recommends students and families follow its 1-2-3 approach to paying for college: first, maximize money that does not need to be repaid, such as scholarships and grants; second, explore federal student loans; and, third, consider a responsible private education loan.

For more information, visit For contest rules, visit

About By Kids For Kids

By Kids for Kids® (BKFK®) is an agency that empowers youth invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. BKFK provides a unique platform for kids and teens to develop and showcase their ideas, inventions, and entrepreneurship. The company provides free educational resources, including curricula and challenges that promote social change, product innovation, and entrepreneurial endeavors. Learn more:

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.


Sallie Mae
Rick Castellano, 302-451-2541
By Kids For Kids
Judy Klym, 203-921-9039