WASHINGTON — A group of firms led by SLM Corp. and a subsidiary of Citigroup Inc. released a plan Tuesday that seeks to retain a significant role for private lenders in the student loan market.

The backers of the plan hope to convince lawmakers to take up their proposal rather than a plan put forward by the Obama administration that would end all private origination of student loans and use only a small panel of financial firms to service all student loans in the future.

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