Helping people answer the call of success

We’re a nonprofit organization. We’re a loan guarantor. An education philanthropy. We provide tools and services that drive postsecondary education and career success.

A legacy of championing opportunity

You might have known us as Great Lakes. Today, we’re called Ascendium — and we remain a proud nonprofit organization dedicated to helping more people from low-income backgrounds achieve their postsecondary and workforce training goals.

Everything we do, from our products and services to our philanthropy, is in service of our mission to ensure the success of learners. It’s true of our student loan guaranty services, the tools we provide colleges and students to help them thrive, and it’s true of our education philanthropy.

We’re here to help everyone realize their potential. Because everyone should have the opportunity to rise.

Our dedication to helping students succeed endures

Throughout our more than 50-year history, this truth remains constant: We believe in the power of higher education to elevate opportunity.

A new era begins

In 1967, we began our story when we were formed to help fulfill the promise of the landmark Higher Education Act of 1965. Over the years, our focus widened far beyond being a student loan guarantor. Our name has changed over the years, too — first we became Great Lakes, and now we’re Ascendium Education Group.

Advisor, confidante, counselor, philanthropy, guarantor. We wear many hats.

What We Do

Learn about the divisions of Ascendium, from help for defaulted student loans to education philanthropy and tools for students, colleges and financial aid professionals.