CBS News Review of Scholarship Search Services

Approved Scholarships and Grants, and Educational Courses

On October 8th, 2013, a CBS News Money Watch reporter wrote an article entitled Do college scholarship search engines work?. The article was rather interesting, informative, and somewhat hypocritical. The author emphasized that the most popular way for moms, students, college grads, and women to search for private college scholarships is to turn to scholarship search engines.

The article claims that Fastweb fared the worst in a survey that included at least four other major scholarship search services, including, the College Board, Cappex and Zinch. According to the article, the FastWeb Service service generated zero promising matches for users, and repeatedly threw ads towards users in virtually every step from registration to login before a single scholarship appeared!

Ironically, on September 25th, 2013, an article called Is The Scholly Scholarship App a Scam? A Professional Review, Analysis, and Opinion of The Scholly Scholarship App was written for the Scholarship Blog by reporter Ron Thomas. The article discussed the flaws and limitations of The Scholly Scholarship App while also noting the fact that the same scholarship app was being praised by virtually every single member and representative of the main-stream media. For example, U.S.A. Today Reporter Julia Craven never challenged a single questionable claim by the creators of the Scholly Scholarship App. Dana Dean, a reporter with KSDK News Channel 5 in St. Louis, MO, scripted a review of the the Scholly Scholarship App that was so inferior as to question her legitimacy as a reporter, and question what extra-activities did she may have done to get her job. The so-called ‘review’ by Dana Dean was nothing more than a promotional article crafted to induce parents, moms, women, and students to waste .99 cents for a service that can be obtained for free.

20-Year Learning Curve of Lynn O’Shaughnessy on Scholarships Search Services

The author of the article Do college scholarship search engines work? is Lynn O’Shaughnessy. After 20 years, she is finally learning something that has already been reported by NAAS-NEWS, and others. It took the N.Y. Attorney General 10 years to piece together the complex involvment of colleges,universities, and loan company members of the National Association of Student Financial-Aid Administrators(NASFAA, who boasted in 1996 that it was the exclusive sponsor of and why Mark Kantrowitz was such an ardent supporter of the College Fraud Scholarship Prevention Act; an Act that served no purpose other than to inflate tuition for thousands of students attending NASFAA-member schools, and which conveniently shifted attention away for the student-loan advertisers who were prominently being fed student data from the Fastweb website! There Lynn O’Shaughnessy: that’s your hero and so-called Financial-Aid Expert.

Birth and Creation of FastWeb: Use of Tax-Exempt Sponsorship for Private Gain

According to the Pennsylvania Dept. of Corporations, FinAid Page Inc., only became a legal entity as of July 2,1996, and yet a President of a Better Business Bureau chapter was quoting him PRIOR to his business even being official and incorporated! Not only that, so-called ‘Financial-Aid Expert’ Mark Kantrowitz was publishing his non-sense financial-aid theories on perfectly valid and legitimate scholarship procedures that had preceded his own birth as well as the existence of his FinAid Page.

On July 9, 1996, barely a week into the official incorporation of FinAid Page, Mark Kantrowitz "announced an agreement under which the National Association of Student Financial-Aid Administrators (a/k/a/ NASFAA, a 501 (3)(c) non-profit organization) will be the exclusive sponsor of his for-profit FinAid Page, Inc, for at least the next two years. Over 90% of all U.S. colleges, and universities, are members of NASFAA, as well as the biggest student loan lenders. At the time, NASFAA had a contrsct with the U.S. Dept. of Education, as part of its relationship with thousands of colleges and universities.

With the sponsorship of NASFAA,colleges, universities, and the main-stream media flocked to Mark Kantrowitz and FastWeb/FinAid like flies are attracted to human fecal matter. No matter how outrageous and communist-sounding his theories were (e.g., “you should never pay money to get money”), the brainless main-stream media of the U.S. quoted this guy as if they were on a singular mission to deceive the U.S. public.

The public record suggests that NASFAA (in violation of direct and/or explicit I.R.S. rules) used its federal tax exempt status to benefit a private for-profit business, and the end result greatly expanded the reach, revenue, and influence of FastWeb, FinAid Page, and provided credibility to the argument of Mark Kantrowitz as a ‘Financial-Aid Expert.’

In other words, and to put it in very simple terms: NASFAA used its federal I.R.S. tax-exempt status to sponsor and beneift a for-profit entity. All the while, the FTC looked the other way. This explains why the College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act of 2000 (which was sponsored by NASFAA, the FTC, and Kantrowitz) was so lop-sided against scholarship organizations targeted by Kantrowitz while legislation that addressed student-loan fraud was absent. Hello

If that is not government fraud, then what the Hell is! Neither CNN, Bloomberg News, the N.Y. Times, Yahoo!, The Chronicles of Higher Education, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and all the other main-stream media publications never inquiried as to why NASFAA would sponsor a for-profit corporation that barely existed just weeks ago.

The theory is that NASFAA was recruited or induced by the U.S. government and/or the U.S. Dept of Education, to label and promote Mark Kantrowitz as a ‘Financial-Aid Expert.’ to create profits for the student-loan industry.

Despite these massive holes in his credibility, the acknowledgement by the FTC in a September 5, 1996, news conference that Mark Kantrowitz was a government informant, U.S. main-stream media continued to feed to American college students, high-school students, guidance counselors at high-schools, the flawed and deceptive notion of Mark Kantrowitz being a ‘Financial-Aid Expert’ and that FastWeb was the best scholarship search service.

Filing of Lawsuits Against Reporters and Commentators for Deceptive Reviews Praising Flawed Scholarship Search Products

Students, parents, moms, and women should not put up with flawed, deceptive, and deliberate schemes by the main-stream media to promote suspicious scholarship products and/or services, as well as steer consumers toward favored government picks/informants.

If after reading reviews published by the likes of Suze Orman,Farnoosh Torabi, U.S.A. Today Reporter Julia Craven, Dana Dean, Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, you felt encouraged to purchase the scholarship product they deceptively promoted then you should consider legal action against both the commentator and his/her employer. A skilled attorney can make a convincing argument that these persons sought to deprive you of honest information or that their implied endorsements were negligent, omitted material facts, and caused you financial damages.

Summary CBS News Review of Scholarships Search Services

In an August 19th, 2013, column, another dim-witted member of the main-stream media, Marciene Mattleman of PHILADELPHIA (CBS), claimed that Mark Kantrowitz says “he knows everything about financing college.” Hello Marciene: Eric Snowden claims he knows everything about protecting U.S. government secrets. You might want to ask Mr. Kantrowitz/FastWeb to explain his tax reporting of his relationship to NASFAA, and how a tax-exempt organization can legally sponsor a for-profit corporation? As an expert, perhaps Fastweb/Kantrowitz knows something that the I.R.S. does not know, and that no other non-profit organization knows. Unfortunately, I could not locate a single I.R.S. rule that allowed such a sponsorship.

CBS News Review of Scholarships Search Services is a legitimate review and rebuke of the claim that Fastweb is the best website to search for scholarships, grants, and financial-aid. The best perfoming of the four scholarship search services had only a 20% success rate at matching students with scholarships that they were eligible for. What this means is that the time, effort, and expense of using scholarship search services like, the College Board, Cappex Zinch, and FastWeb may not be worth it. In nutshell, these scholarship search companies fared so bad, that few students even benefitted. Consequently, I am assigning every scholarship search service featured in the CBS article that had a success rate of less than 60% with an ‘F’ grade.



Scholarship Bob

About Scholarship Bob

An NAAS Administrator for 3 years. I joined National Academy of American Scholars straight from College. I am not a paid employee. I am a volunteer.