SLM Corporation, foremost provider of funding for higher education to American students; commonly known as Sallie Mae. The company, which also offers information and resources to assist students and others in obtaining funding, had a portfolio of some $127 billion in managed student loans by the early 21st cent. The majority of those loans were federally guaranteed. The SLM Corp. also has a number of educational and finance-related subsidiaries and sponsors the Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization that promotes access to higher education. The company is headquartered in Reston, Va. Created in 1972 as the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA), it was originally a government-sponsored entity. Privatization was initiated in 1997 and finalized in 2004, when Sallie Mae cut all ties to the federal government.