Sallie Mae has dropped its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) after a student-led campaign demanding that the nation's largest student loan lender cut ties with the controversial organization. Sallie Mae is the 50th corporation to publicly drop its ALEC membership in the past year-and-a-half as the organization has come under increasing public scrutiny.
"It’s a terrific victory for the students, community members, and unions members that were involved," said Chris Hicks, Student Debt Campaign Organizer at Jobs With Justice. "It’s no accident that Sallie Mae has decided to leave ALEC – from the shareholder meeting in May and the meeting students and graduates had with CEO Jack Remondi in June to the nearly 15,000 petition signatures gathered in August, students have shown Sallie Mae they are serious about their demands and are not going away."
Many students and young people were outraged that a company that profits from student debt would use their loan payments to fund ALEC, which (among other things) works to make the education system a for-profit endeavor and advances laws that make it harder for many college students to vote.