Academic Foundation Scores Sallie MaeBid

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NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. - (02/01/05) -- Big 33, one of Pennsylvania'sleading providers of college scholarships joined the fight againststudent loan giant Sallie Mae's hostile takeover offer forPennsylvania's student loan agency. Big 33, which gave out $500,000in scholarships to Pennsylvania students last year, called on Gov.Ed Rendell Monday to reject Sallie Mae's $1 billion offer forPennsylvania Higher Education Academic Association, saying itfeared turning over the state's not-for profit college fundingagency to a for-profit entity. "They're doing this to makemoney--not to make it easier for more kids to gain access to ahigher education," said Mickey Minnich, executive director of Big33. The group's involvement comes as Sallie Mae executives arelobbying state lawmakers to override the PHEAA board's rejection ofits offer. Also opposing the offer are one of the state's largestunion groups, AFSCME; the Association of Independent Colleges andUniversities of Pennsylvania; and the Community Bankers Associationof Pennsylvania.

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