Indianapolis-based nonprofit USA Funds is ending its role as a student loan guarantor. The organization is transferring ownership of its two affiliates to Wisconsin-based Great Lakes Higher Education Corp., beginning January 1.
USA Funds says United Student Aid Funds, which is the largest student loan guarantor in the country, and Northwest Education Loan Association will continue to operate as normal under the new ownership.
The move allows USA Funds to "focus on advancing its nonprofit mission of enhancing preparation for, access to, and success in higher education," the organization said in a news release. Great Lakes will provide annual grants to USA Funds to promote its student success initiatives.
"We are proud of our service as a student loan guarantor during the past half century, supporting $250 billion in financing to help more than 22 million students and parents pay for a college education," said Bill Hansen, chief executive officer of USA Funds. "But the dramatic changes sweeping the higher education landscape and the emerging needs of our nation’s workforce and economy compel us to direct our full attention to helping more students succeed in postsecondary education and launch into rewarding careers and fulfilling lives."
The ownership transfer comes as the Federal Family Education Loan Program winds down following legislation in 2010 that ended new loans under the program.