Dec 20, 2005

Nelnet Awards Millions of Dollars in Scholarships; $1,000 a Week Online Sweepstakes Available to High School Seniors

LINCOLN, Neb., Dec 20, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- College tuition costs are on the rise, making it very difficult for students to afford an education. Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) understands the need to help students pay for higher education by awarding millions of dollars in scholarships to students across the country.

Currently, high school seniors can win $1,000 a week with Nelnet's online sweepstakes at Nelnet's College Planning Web site through the end of March 2006. Students should visit and enter their name to register for this award.

"Nelnet supports its vision of making educational dreams possible by making scholarships available," said Cheryl Watson, Nelnet Chief Communications Officer. "Nelnet's online sweepstakes and other awards provide significant funding to help students afford college and reap the benefits of a higher education."

Nelnet also provides state-based scholarship programs that are available to students in specific regions. In addition, the Nelnet Foundation has been the philanthropic catalyst for the company, supporting scholarships and funding charities nationwide.

Nelnet is proud to be associated with various organizations that make education a top priority, including the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities, United Negro College Fund, National College Access Network, and Junior Achievement.

The Nelnet College Planning Center is a free, comprehensive resource for families and students preparing for college. Students can explore the College Planning Web site to benefit from online practice tests for the SAT and ACT and general college planning information, including a college search based on their needs, financial aid questions and answers, a financial planning calculator, and other students' college planning experiences. The Web site provides access to more than $50,000 in Nelnet scholarships, and a database of more than 1.6 million scholarships worth more than $6 billion. Families can also call toll-free 1.866.866.7372 to speak to a knowledgeable College Planning Counselor who can answer their questions and walk them through the steps they need to apply for college or financial aid.

Nelnet is one of the leading education finance companies in the United States and is focused on providing quality products and services to students and schools nationwide. Nelnet ranks among the nation's leaders in terms of total net student loan assets with $16.4 billion as of September 30, 2005. Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, Nelnet originates, consolidates, securitizes, holds, and services student loans, principally loans originated under the Federal Family Education Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional information is available at

(code #: nnig)


Eric Solomon of Nelnet, +1-202-659-2258

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