NEW YORK - With the demand and price of higher education climbing skyward, student loan ABS is expected to be the next hot growth sector, noted a panel of representatives from the three largest student loan issuers - Sallie Mae, Nelnet and First Marblehead Corp. - speaking at Deutsche Bank Securities' 2005 ABS Conference last week.

Mark Daly, director at Sallie Mae, said his company plans to issue around $20 billion in term ABS in 2005, down from its usual $30 billion. Sallie recently completed its transition out of GSE status nearly three years before its scheduled completion date.

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