Author Topic: Scholarship Site Review of FastWeb  (Read 3366 times)

Scholarship Bob

Scholarship Site Review of FastWeb
« on: April 25, 2012, 11:36:03 AM »
Win monthly scholarship drawings of up to $10,000

FastWeb has a detailed and very controversial history that few students and parents really know about.  In order to understand the credibility and integrity  of the Fastweb search results, it is important to understand the origins and true history of FastWeb.  Unfortunately, my space is limited so I have to be brief. 
It can be argued that the FastWeb search service ranks as one of the most censored and perhaps the most political  scholarship search site sites in the U.S.A. If you like a very censored, redacted, and a heavily edited scholarship search service, and you lack the ability to draw your own conclusions because of a mental or language disablity  then FastWeb may be your best option.
However, if you are an intelligent person and seeking an uncensored database that is tailored for free-thinking people of adult age,  and you believe you have the ability to make your own decisions, then you may want to avoid any scholarship search service connected to FastWeb or Mark Kantrowitz.

In many ways, and aside from politics, Fastweb has a business model like many other scholarship search sites. FastWeb even has a Public Advisory Board, which on the surface appears impressive. FastWeb has two token advisory members, for the sake of diversity, and the rest are invited to eat dinner at the home of Kantrowitz.   If you peel away the layers, you will find that  virtually every person connected to FastWeb is also connected to NASFAA or NACAC; and,  in several cases, as a direct result of their membership into NACAC and/or NASFAA.
   FastWeb requires students to complete a registration process before the students are eligible to review the basic awards.  Registration information collected includes First Name, Last Name, Email, Address,City, State, Zipcode, and Home Phone, Mobile Phone, and Date of Birth. Students must be 18 years old or older to enter the data asked for. Which means, that students under 18 years-old will be denied registration.
 According to FaceBook statistics, this strict requirement will eliminate over 1 million eligible students looking for aid. In fact, since Kantrowitz censors all scholarships that impose an application, handling,  or registration fee, a vast number of legitimate scholarships are excluded from the FastWeb database. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 11:05:56 AM by Scholarship Bob »
NAAS Admin

Scholarship Bob

Re: Scholarship Site Review of FastWeb
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 11:40:21 AM »
Win monthly scholarship drawings of up to $10,000
NAAS-Media archives provides detailed literature about FastWeb since its inception, dating back over 15 years.  Mark Kantrowitz is a principal publisher and contributing editor of many articles and news content that is published by FastWeb. While Kantrowitz posed as a student at Carnegie Mellon University in the early 1990s, he also was a contributing founder and partner of FastWeb.  Although Kantrowitz claimed he was an objective, and  unbiased  media critic of various scholarship and financial-aid issues, he was secretly pocketing and receiving commission/advertising fees by referrring students to student-loan companies that were members of NASFAA.  Several of these student loan companies were later investigated by the N.Y. Attorney General office for fraud, deception, and deceit. Kantrowitz, himself, was never investigated  or charged despite the fact that students relied upon his advice, and his direct links to these companies.

The FTC did not take any action against these same fraudulent student loan companies because of the rumor that Kantrowitz has a high-ranking attorney relative in the FTC, who ensured that any consumer or business complaints against Kantrotwitz would be deleted or face extreme obstacles.  The FTC and NASFAA, in turn, steered the U.S. Dept. of Education to embrace Finaid.org, which in turn provided direct links to the new Fastweb website.
The same tactics used by Kantrowitz in the 1990s, FastWeb still uses today.  Members of NASFAA, which is an original sponsor of FINAID.ORG, included SALLIE MAE. An employee of Sallie MAE claimed that as recently as 2008, that Sallie Mae intentionally used various strategies to ballon student debts, and to grow student debts as large as possible inorder to increase Sallie Mae’s profits. Taxpayers and debtors would later be  stuck with the final bill, said the former Sallie Mae employee, Michael Zahara.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 11:09:03 AM by Scholarship Bob »
NAAS Admin

Scholarship Bob

Re: Scholarship Site Review of FastWeb
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 11:48:52 AM »
Win monthly scholarship drawings of up to $10,000
When using the FastWeb website, it is recommended that you avoid the politics, the advice columns,  and any commentary related to Kantrowitz because he does not disclose the true facts and reasoning behind his one-sided statements.  For example, both NASFAA/Kantrowitz were very vigilant, meticulous in sponsoring  U.S. Senate Bill S1455, which is also referred to as the College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act of 2000. This Act was designed and created to prosecute the  purported "massive" scholarship fraud that Kantrowitz publicly and repeatedly  claimed was occuring, but he offered no proof to support. 

 Instead of combatting the alleged scholarship fraud that Kantrowitz  claimed, The College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act of 2000 was a perfect and spotless  piece of federal legislation that helped lay the foundation for the massive student loan fraud, massive  fraud by Sallie Mae,  fraud U.S. Dept. of Education employees connected to NASFAA, and other NASFAA members.
 
  The College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act of 2000 is proof what can happen when fools are led by fools, and when government agencies partner with for-profit entities ran by alleged "Experts/Media Critics."   Fool Kantrowitz, the self-proclaimed Financial-Aid Expert,  led the FTC, the U.S.P.S., and even U.S. Senate members into believing his myth of rampant scholarship fraud while in fact he was sponsoring, linking to,  or providing advertising  platforms for student loan companies that were engaged in rampant student loan fraud. 

In addition, The College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act of 2000 helped justify the economics and leverage by NASFAA members to increase student  tuition. It took the N.Y. Attorney General nearly 10 years to figure out what the FTC should have smelled when Kantrowitz first gave an infamous speech to the FTC prior to The College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act of 2000 being passed. 


FastWeb likes to say "Never pay an application fee" for a scholarship because it is a warning sign of a scam, but the fact is that FastWeb and Kanrowitz used their websites and government connections to steer or encourage students and parents to use companies connected to NASFAA, which in turn led to  the biggest student loan scandal in U.S.  history.


The GSA spending scandal in Las Vegas, NV, may be considered as a duplicate example of the sort of relationships that Finaid/Fastweb had with the U.S. Dept. of Edcation/FTC/USPS; massive dollars spent on phantom scholarship fraud while student-loan fraud and home mortgage fraud was skyrocketing. All the while, Kantrowitz was getting rich by referral fees.


Mark Kantrowitz has a clear understanding how his millionaire  income is generated, and what programs he must attack and/or censor. Instead of helping students find financial-aid, his first priority seems to be to appease his advertisers, and to attack competitive financial-aid products that are not related to NASFAA/NACAC .

 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 11:09:31 AM by Scholarship Bob »
NAAS Admin

Scholarship Bob

Re: Scholarship Site Review of FastWeb
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 12:20:40 PM »
Win monthly scholarship drawings of up to $10,000
Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced in April of 2007 a settlement with Sallie Mae, the nation's largest student lender. He also took the time to publicly denounce  NASFAA; who was the original and first sponsor of  Finaid/Mark Kantrowitz.  Sallie Mae voluntarily agreed to adopt the Attorney General's code of conduct only after the company was FORCED. Under the agreement, Sallie Mae agreed to discontinue call centers or other staffing for college financial aid offices, discontinue paying financial aid officers for appearing on advisory boards, and discontinue paying for any trips or travel for any financial aid officer. Sallie Mae serves almost 10 million borrowers, has received referrals from FinAid.org, and has been steered to students via relationships with over 5600 NASFAA schools.

Although Sallie Mae was forced to stop these practices, FastWeb has no such agreement in place.
So now you know a little history of FastWeb, and why the company publishes advice, columns, that are skewed towards the economics of NASFAA advertisers, and members, and against competing financial-aid products.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 11:10:13 AM by Scholarship Bob »
NAAS Admin

Scholarship Bob

« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 06:03:37 PM by Scholarship Bob »
NAAS Admin