Navient, a new company split from Sallie Mae, will move into 40,000 sq. ft. of office space on the Wilmington Riverfront.

Sallie Mae is moving forward with plans to split into two separate entities, a split that is expected to be finalized by the end of June. The new company, which was dubbed Navient about a month ago, will be housed in the Star Building along Wilmington's Riverfront.

Navient will focus on servicing nearly $300 billion in student loans while providing customer support for 12 million customers. The company will also perform asset recovery for more than 1,500 government, higher education, and business clients.

"As we plan for the future of Navient, we know the Wilmington Riverfront will be an ideal location for our employees to work," said Jack Remondi, President and CEO of Sallie Mae. "When Sallie Mae chose Delaware for its headquarters, we were attracted to the community and workforce."

About 1,200 of Sallie Mae's 7,200 employees are based in Delaware.

Student loan protests

Over the past two years, Sallie Mae's headquarters near Newark has been the site of protests by large groups of college students upset about student loan debt and collection efforts performed by Sallie Mae.

During protests in May 2013, about 125 students were met by state and local police outside the company's headquarters.

At that time, Sallie Mae leaders agreed to hold a meeting with some of the students to discuss their concerns, which included criticisms of Sallie Mae's lobbying expenses in Washington, D.C.

"We need to talk about their accountability in the student debt crisis that is going on," said Megan Kingston, then a rising senior at UMASS-Amherst with $38,000 in debt.

At the start of Sallie Mae's stockholder meeting last year, Remondi addressed the student's concerns regarding high debt levels. To maximize the value of their education, he encouraged students to graduate and urged recent grads facing unbearable debt to consult with loan service representatives.

"Borrower's stories are real and they are painful," he said.