ScholarNet’s Roots Go Deep

Articles | November 13, 2019

Rooted in Higher Ed Expertise

ScholarNet has been securely automating private loan selection, student education, certification, and disbursement for decades. Originally known as SCHOLAR, our roots go all the way back to the early 90’s during the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) era.

An Innovative Idea

At the time, Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc. (Great Lakes) took a leadership role in what eventually became an industry-wide alliance to build the CommonLine network, which in turn allowed schools and borrowers to work with virtually any lender.

During this period of immense industry change, Great Lakes’ goals included:

  • Working with wide variety of partners to break down barriers within the industry
  • Creating a solid process for electronic processing
  • Supporting the marketplace and giving schools a choice
  • Providing stellar customer service to our school partners

A Comprehensive Solution

Fast forward several years and SCHOLAR launched online under the new name ScholarNet. At that time, the opportunity to expand the product’s capabilities to include loan disbursement was a logical next step.

And when it became clear that schools and lenders needed an easier way to coordinate the process of providing lender lists and simplifying private loan selection for the growing number of students taking out private student loans, FastChoice was born. With more students needing to learn about their loan obligation—and more of them turning to online learning—Great Lakes added Borrowing Essentials and then Repayment Essentials to FastChoice.

Continuing the ScholarNet Tradition

With the February 2018 acquisition of Great Lakes by Nelnet, Inc., ScholarNet has continued to be supported by Great Lakes under the Nelnet umbrella. In fact, some of the same people who work with ScholarNet today were involved in its original development back in the early 90’s.

Since the beginning of SCHOLAR and ScholarNet, Great Lakes has provided a solution that brings schools, lenders, and borrowers together to access private loans through a secure connection. We’re committed to remaining neutral in our presentation of lenders and loan programs, and providing you and your students the best experience we can—for decades to come.

Share Your History

What’s your history with Great Lakes? With ScholarNet? Share your stories with us and your colleagues at our MyScholarNet LinkedIn group or check out our other online resources.