Exhibit 99.1

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           NEWS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

SALLIE MAE REPORTS FOURTH-QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR 2011 FINANCIAL RESULTS

2011 Loan Originations Up 19 Percent, Operating Expenses Down

NEWARK, Del., Jan. 18, 2012

 — Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM), formally SLM Corporation, today released fourth-quarter and full-year 2011 financial results highlighting increased student loan originations, lower delinquency and charge-off rates, and declining operating expenses, as compared with both the fourth-quarter and full-year 2010.

“We achieved each of 2011’s major objectives — significant lending growth, reduced operating expense, higher fee income; we also reinstated quarterly dividend payments and began to repurchase shares,” said Albert L. Lord, vice chairman & CEO, Sallie Mae. “The franchise is strong and positioned for solid earnings growth in 2012.”

For the fourth-quarter 2011, GAAP net income rose to $511 million ($.99 per diluted share), compared with $447 million ($.84 per diluted share) for the year-ago quarter.

For 2011, GAAP net income rose to $633 million ($1.18 per diluted share), compared with $530 million ($.94 per diluted share) in 2010.

Core earnings for the quarter were $268 million ($.51 per diluted share), compared with $401 million ($.75 per diluted share) in the year-ago period.

Core earnings for the year were $977 million ($1.83 per diluted share), compared with $1.03 billion ($1.92 per diluted share) in 2010.

Core earnings were down due to a decrease ($436 million or $.52 per diluted share in the fourth-quarter 2011, and $574 million or $.69 per diluted share in 2011) in gains on loan sales and debt repurchases from prior-year periods. Excluding these gains on loan sales and debt repurchases, core earnings were up due to improvements in net interest income, loan loss provision, expenses and discontinued operations.

The company reports results on a core earnings basis because management utilizes this information in making key business decisions.

The changes in GAAP net income are driven by the same core earnings items discussed above as well as changes in “mark-to-market” unrealized gains and losses on derivative contracts and impairment of goodwill and intangible assets that are recognized in GAAP but not in core earnings results. Fourth-quarter 2011 and full-year 2011 results had a $302 million increase in gains and a $623 million increase in losses, respectively, in unrealized “mark-to-market” gains/losses on derivative contracts compared to year-ago periods. Full-year 2011 results also had $660 million less goodwill and intangible impairment compared to 2010.

Consumer Lending

In the consumer lending segment, Sallie Mae originates, finances and services private education loans. During 2011, the company originated $2.7 billion in private education loans, up 19 percent from 2010’s $2.3 billion.

Core earnings for the quarter were $63 million, compared with core earnings of $24 million in the fourth-quarter 2010. This improvement is primarily the result of reduced loan loss provision. Loan delinquency and charge-off rates improved 5 percent and 27 percent, respectively, from the year-ago quarter, the sixth consecutive quarter of such improvements.

 

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The following information was filed by Slm Corp (SLM) on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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