Free online resource offers advice on how students and parents can help defray college costs with available scholarships that total over $3.4 billion
MAYNARD, Mass., October 7, 2010 – On October 9, millions of students nationwide will be taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and gunning for a perfect score. Although students are focused on earning a high test score, many parents and students overlook how they will actually pay for school. To help make college dreams become a reality, Fastweb, owned by Monster Worldwide, Inc., parent company of Monster.com®, the leading job matching engine (NYSE: MWW), currently lists more than 1.5 million scholarships totaling over $3.4 billion.
“Many students naturally stress about having a winning strategy to help them score well on their SATs but often lack a winning financial strategy to help pay for college,” said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Fastweb and nationally recognized expert on student financial aid and paying for college. “Especially in today’s economy, students and parents need to be educated about what scholarship and financial aid information is available to them and how to take advantage of these programs. Students often miss untapped financial aid resources because they are not aware of what’s out there, such as the more than 1.5 million scholarships currently listed on Fastweb.”
As a leading website for scholarship and financial aid information, one in three college-bound seniors visits Fastweb looking for financial assistance for school. Mark Kantrowitz of Fastweb offers the following tips for students and parents to help them navigate through available scholarships and financially prepare to pay for the school they studied hard to get accepted into:
•Save for college using a 529 college savings plan. This is a tax-advantaged way of saving for college with a minimal impact on eligibility for need-based financial aid. Use the age-based asset allocation scheme to help minimize the risk of stock market losses. You can invest in any state’s plan.
•Borrow money from the government. Apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov. It is the first step in receiving grants and other student aid from the federal and state government and the colleges themselves. Students can also search for scholarships at free web sites like Fastweb.com. Every dollar you win in scholarships is a dollar less you have to borrow.
•Take summer classes. Students can take a few classes in the summer at a local community college to help them finish quicker at lower cost. (But make sure the credits will transfer first!) Or double-major to get two degrees for the price of one.
•A part-time job can help. Even if the student does not get a federal work-study job, there are plenty of part-time jobs available on or near campus. Resources such as Fastweb also compile regional job and internship information for students.
•Shop/sell textbooks online. Save on textbooks by shopping online (the textbook’s ISBN number will be listed in the class syllabus), buying used textbooks or by selling the book back to the bookstore at the end of the semester.
•Minimize debt. Before spending student loan money to buy something, ask yourself if you would still buy it at twice the cost. Because every dollar in student loan money will cost you about two dollars by the time you pay back the loans.
•Live at home. Students should consider living at home while they are in college, if possible, to drastically save on food and housing costs. Live like a student while you are in school so you don’t have to live like a student after you graduate.
•Tax credits can add up. Look into the various tax credits available. For instance, the Hope Scholarship tax credit provides a tax credit for low and middle income families for up to $2,500 based on amounts paid for tuition, fees and textbook expenses. The student loan interest deduction lets you deduct up to $2,500 in interest on federal and private student loans each year as an above-the-line exclusion from income. You can take this deduction even if you don’t itemize.
Since its launch in 1995, Fastweb has benefited more than 50 million users looking for a way to pay for college*. Free for all students, Fastweb offers personalized scholarship matches, internship and entry-level job opportunities, and financial aid advice at one convenient, online location. Launched as the first free scholarship matching site, Fastweb has grown from servicing 270 students on its site to assisting over 50 million members with expert financial aid advice.
About Monster Worldwide
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW), parent company of Monster, the premier global online employment solution for more than a decade, strives to inspire people to improve their lives. With a local presence in key markets in North America, Europe, and Asia, Monster works for everyone by connecting employers with quality job seekers at all levels and by providing personalized career advice to consumers globally. Through online media sites and services, Monster delivers vast, highly targeted audiences to advertisers. Monster Worldwide is a member of the S&P 500 index. To learn more about Monster’s industry-leading products and services, visit www.monster.com. More information about Monster Worldwide is available at www.about-monster.com.
Fastweb is the nation’s recognized leader in helping students pay for school, by providing scholarship and financial aid information, as well as information on jobs and internships. One out of three college-bound seniors use the site, and more than 50 million* members have benefited from Fastweb’s information and services. Fastweb lets students create a personalized profile that can be matched against its expansive databases of colleges and scholarships. As the oldest and most popular free online scholarship matching service, the database has more than 1.5 million scholarships totaling over $3.4 billion.
*9 million are active users of the site