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Brazos, Nation's Largest Not-for-Profit Student Loan Lender, Reenters the Federal Loan Program.

Company Ready to Work with All Title IV Eligible Schools

WACO, Texas -- Brazos, the nation's largest not-for-profit provider of federally guaranteed student loans, announced today that it is broadening its national student loan market presence and will participate in the 2008/2009 federal loan program as a result of a new law that provides liquidity for student loan lenders.

"The next few months are a critical time for students who are planning to attend or return to college this fall and must determine with their parents and schools how to finance their education," said Murray Watson, President and CEO of Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation. "With millions of students depending on FFELP loans, we want to do our part to help educate them for tomorrow."

Effective immediately, all Brazos lenders, including Academic Finance Corporation (AFC), Brazos Student Lending, EFSI, and Studentloans.com, will accept applications for Stafford, PLUS, and GradPLUS loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

Brazos lenders are ready to work with any school that the U.S. Department of Education has qualified to participate in the Title IV program. "This will enable us to help many more students who want to further their postsecondary education," Watson said.

Earlier this year, due to instability and turbulence in the capital markets, Brazos, along with many other student loan lenders, temporarily suspended their participation in FFELP. Late last month, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008. The law gave the Department of Education new authority to work with student loan lenders to make FFELP loans.

"Because of our long-standing commitment to students and their parents, we want to do our part in helping educate Americans despite the challenging financial environment," Watson said.

While the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 has not yet been published in the Federal Register and codified as law, the Brazos lenders today began accepting applications for and processing loans from students accepted by any Title IV-approved school for the 2008/2009 fall, winter and spring semesters. Disbursement dates will be dictated by the details in the Federal Register once released by the Department of Education.

Watson said, "Brazos is proud to participate in the Department of Education's program, which enables us to further our not-for-profit mission of making education a reality. As always, we remain dedicated to providing access to education and best-in-class service to borrowers and schools nationwide."

About Brazos

Brazos is a term used to refer to a group of not-for-profit corporations that contract with and are managed by Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation, Inc. (BHESC). BHESC provides administrative support and employs all of the staff that performs the accounting, servicing and marketing activities for each of the companies. For more than 32 years, Brazos has facilitated the financing of postsecondary education, making it a reality for thousands of students nationwide. The Brazos companies combined hold the distinction of being the #1 not-for-profit holder of federally guaranteed student loans in the United States, with assets in excess of $15 billion.

About FFELP

According to the Department of Education, more than 2,000 lenders issued more than $50 billion in FFELP loans to 6.8 million borrowers in fiscal year 2007.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 17, 2008
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