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Web Reviews and Awards

There are many web sites that review and rate other web sites, or contain carefully selected lists of recommended sites. This page contains excerpts from reviews of FinAid, as published by some of these web catalogs and guides. For a review to be listed here, it must either be from a respected source, or contain comments of substance.

ABC's of Parenting Directory

FinAid was one of the "absolute best websites of interest to families and parents-to-be" by ABC's of Parenting (now Parenthood.com) with a rating of 4 stars in the College Savings category.

Academe Today

The Academe Today site is restricted to subscribers to The Chronicle of Higher Education. In their compilation of academic resources on the Internet, Academe Today reviewed FinAid on February 16, 1996. Their review says that FinAid is "a stockpile of financial-aid information, including a bibliography of useful books and pamphlets; an on-line worksheet to estimate students' financial needs; and a "Frequently Asked Questions" section that covers aid for foreign students, scholarship-search companies, and other topics."

America Online's Internet Directory

FinAid is included in America Online's Internet Directory. Their review says that FinAid is "a gold mine for seekers of financial aid for college. Includes a glossary of financial aid terminology; a hot list of university financial aid offices; information on grants, loans, and exchange programs; and links to many other resources."

Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions

FinAid was selected by Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions as a "best of the net" site on December 4, 1996.

Bridge Builders Rare Gem of the Net Award

Bridge Builders Educational Services is a company that offers a variety of products and services to support students as they navigate through academic institutions. Each month they select a new outstanding educational site for their Rare Gem of the Net Award. FinAid was selected as the Rare Gem of the Net for the month of February 1996. Their reviews included the following comments:

"The Financial Aid Information page is both comprehensive and detailed in its offerings, while maintaining a critical eye to help browsers distinguish between really useful sites and those run by scam artists."

"This page combines a huge list of site offerings with the search engines that are crucial for finding the right types of sites. Definitely one of the best financial aid/scholarships sites I've seen."

"A great page for students on a variety of levels to not only search for solid leads on scholarships, but to also gather great background information. I thought that the section on politics and student aid reform was insightful and eye-opening. I wholeheartedly recommend this site!"

Britannica.com

Britannica.com, the online site of Encyclopedia Britannica, selected FinAid as "one of the best on the Internet when reviewed for quality, accuracy of content, presentation and usability" on February 1, 2000. They rated FinAid as "one of the most valuable and reliable on the Internet".

Citizen 1 Top Site Award

Citizen 1 Software announced on January 16, 1997, that it had reviewed 4,000 sites providing content relevant to business users, and selected FinAid's College Cost Projector calculator as a Citizen 1 Top Site.

Clearinghouse Approved

Argus Clearinghouse Approved FinAid has been accepted for inclusion in the Argus (formerly University of Michigan's) Clearinghouse for Subject-Oriented Internet Resource Guides. The Clearinghouse's mission is to provide "a central access point for value-added topical guides which identify, describe, and evaluate Internet-based information resources".

CNET Top 10: Best Sites for Students (July 28, 2006)

CNET ranked FinAid #5 among its list of the best sites for students, naming it the best money management site.

College.com Top Choice Award (February 9, 2011)

College.com presented FinAid with a Top Choice Award, saying that "There are no gimmicks or sales pitches at the site, just the facts and lots of advice." The College.com review continued, "there.s a wealth of information at FinAid" and "The material is presented in an inviting, credible and easy to understand style, just what busy teens and adults want."

Consumer Resource Network Featured Site

FinAid was recognized by the Consumer Resource Network as one of the most prominent consumer oriented web sites and selected as one of the rotating feature picks on their home page. Consumer Resource Network is a national informational cable television network available in 30 million homes. Their programs consist of short product infomercials intermixed with public service information segments.

CyberMom Dot Com "2 Hot 2 Handle" Site of the Day

FinAid was selected by CyberMom Dot Com as the "2 Hot 2 Handle" Site of the Day for July 18, 1997. The CyberMom Dot Com web provides advice and features for net-savvy parents.

DigiCity Education Station

FinAid was selected as one of three sites to receive the "Award of Excellent Content" during the month of November, 1996. The Education Station's review of the site said: "This site contains every kind of financial aid information you could imagine. Includes ability to search for scholarship information."

Dr. Hotlist Site of the Week

FinAid was selected by District Administration Magazine, a magazine for K-12 school superintendeds, as the Dr. Hotlist Site of the Week for the Week of March 23, 2009.

Excite's NetReviews

Excite's NetReviews reviewed FinAid, and said: "If you're in school and don't know how to make ends meet, check out the Financial Aid Information Page. This page will give you all the info you need on how you can get the big bucks ($$$) you need to stay in school. Very informative and helpful. Check it out, starving students."

A subsequent review of the site stated: "Mark Kantrowitz, author of the Prentice Hall Guide to Scholarships and Fellowships for Math and Science Students, freely provides this page filled with practical information for students who need money to attend, or continue to attend, school."

Forbes Favorite

FinAid was named the "Forbes Favorite College Planning Site" in the November 2, 1999 "Forbes Interactive Money Guide" issue of Forbes Magazine. FinAid had also been previously named "Best of the Web" in the September 13, 1999 issue of the magazine.

GNN Personal Finance Center

FinAid is included in GNN's list of Internet resources for financial planning, now part of America Online's WebCrawler. Their review calls the site an "amazing collection of links to financial aid information resources on the Internet" and says that "The Financial Aid Information page directs visitors to over 500 resources in dozens of categories, including Lenders, Study Abroad, Loan Counselors, and US Government Info. The resources are relevant to graduate and undergraduate students, and cover both science and liberal arts disciplines."

FinAid was the 5th most popular personal finance site in GNN's Whole Internet Catalog (WIC) SELECT during the week ending October 30, 1995, and was the number one site for student financial aid. It has consistently ranked among the top ten personal finance sites.

GII Awards Semifinalist

FinAid was named a semifinalist in the education category of the 4th Annual GII Awards on October 27, 1999. The GII Awards wrote that "FinAid is the most comprehensive and highly respected free resource for objective and unbiased information about student financial aid on the Internet."

HomePC Magazine, 500 Best Web Sites

HomePC Magazine announced on January 2, 1997, that it has chosen FinAid as one of the top 500 on the Web in their first Best Web Sites survey. FinAid was one of 300 web sites featured in the December 1996 issue of HomePC Magazine. In their review of FinAid they wrote: "Use the on-line calculators to estimate the amount of aid for which you might qualify, then jump to sites with information on scholarships and fellowships."

Homeschool.com: Top 100 Educational Websites of 2005

Homeschool.com Top 100 Educational Website FinAid was selected as one of the Top 100 Educational Websites of 2005 by Homeschool.com. They said that FinAid was "one of the very best" web sites hand-selected by their 7,000 product testers.

Homeschool.com: Top 100 Educational Websites for 2008

Homeschool.com Top 100 Educational Website FinAid was selected as one of the Top 100 Educational Websites for 2008 by Homeschool.com. They said that FinAid was "one of the very best" web sites hand-selected by their 15,000 product testers.



Kim Komando Show Cool Site of the Day (April 5, 2006)

Kim Komando Show Cool Site of the Day FinAid was featured as the Kim Komando Show Cool Site of the Day on April 5, 2006. The Kim Komando show is the largest talk radio show about computers and the Internet. It is heard on more than 450 stations throughout the United States.

Kim Komando Show Cool Site of the Day (March 10, 2012)

Kim Komando Show Cool Site of the Day FinAid was featured as the Kim Komando Show Cool Site of the Day on March 10, 2012. The Kim Komando show is the largest talk radio show about computers and the Internet. It is heard on more than 450 stations throughout the United States. Kim wrote "If it's time to think about college, don't go into the financial aid process blind. Be sure you get some of the best help out there. FinAid provides a wealth of knowledge about the financial aid process. It provides links to scholarship searches, tutorials on loans and hints on how to save for college. This site also offers information on how to apply for financial aid, and covers other types of aid available."

Lycos A2Z
FinAid is the most popular web site for student financial aid on the World Wide Web, according to Lycos A2Z. A2Z measures a site's popularity by the number of sites that contain links to it. A2Z's review of the site says "The Financial Aid Information Page, maintained by the author of a scholarship and fellowship guide book, is full of pointers to sites that help students navigate the world of financial aid. Visit here for the author's recommended financial aid sources, scam alerts, downloadable software, and links to dozens of university and government information sites."

Lycos College Guide
"FinAid, the Financial Aid Information Page: This is the single most valuable resource on the Net for any aspect of higher education finances and financial aid. Sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), the site was created and is maintained by Mark Kantrowitz, financier and coauthor (with Joann P. DiGennaro) of the Prentice Hall Guide to Scholarships and Fellowships for Math and Science Students."

Lycos Top 5% Review
"Author and expert Mark Kantrowitz maintains this, the Web's premiere resource for US college and university financial aid information. FinAid, with all its hypertext, isn't necessarily pretty to look at, but it provides exhaustive and well-categorized links to all manner of information on higher education funding sources, including government grants, private loans, and aid devoted to special interest groups. Sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, FinAid also features access to free scholarship search services like FastWEB and SRN Express. Meanwhile, a discussion and newsgroups directory, along with a Scholarship Scam Alert, testify to this guide's friendly objectivity. FinAid is the definitive online reference resource for those who want help paying for a college or graduate level education."

Magellan, McKinley's Internet Directory

FinAid received a four-star rating from Magellan, McKinley's Internet Directory. (This review was written when the site was located at Carnegie Mellon University.) Their review says that "Mark Kantrowitz certainly did his homework when he set out to create this extensive compilation of financial aid, scholarship, and fellowship information resources. Kantrowitz, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, and author of a book on financial aid, uses this site to host the Financial Aid FAQ. Lists and reviews cover everything from specialized mailing lists and financial aid web pages, to links to commercial search services. This is the place to start for your financial aid information."

Magellan, McKinley's Internet Directory

FinAid received a four-star rating from Magellan, McKinley's Internet Directory. (After FinAid moved to its new address, Magellan revisited the site, confirmed their previous rating for the site, and wrote a fresh review.) Their review says "Log on and luck out. The college of your dreams might be just one click away. FinAid, the most up-to-date and detailed repository of financial aid information on the Net, boasts over a dozen financial aid calculators, reviews of more than 500 financial aid sites, a glossary, and information focusing on all aspects of student financial assistance. Loans, grants, and information for disabled, older, and returning students are the flour in the gravy of this superb index, officially sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). To complete the repast, FinAid also provides the freebie FastWeb, a searchable database of more than 180,000 private section scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans."

Main Quad's Dean's List: Web Sites with Distinction

The Main Quad is a student-oriented web site. Among its features is The Dean's List: Web Sites with Distinction, a list of links to about 300 sites of interest to students. FinAid is located in the School and Work section. In an email message dated April 17, 1996, Danny Sullivan of the Main Quad wrote: "Since last May, we've looked at and rated about 2000 sites. We tried to pick only the best and most pertinent for college students, with content and appearance both of high importance. And your financial aid info is so important and well handled here, this site was a no-brainer to include. So congratulations!"

Main Street Earth Animated Ribbon of Distinction

Main Street Earth has awarded FinAid their "animated ribbon of distinction" and included it in their library of top reviewed sites to acknowledge the site's "positive contributions to the world's Internet community".

MSN Money's The 100 most useful Web sites

Liz Pulliam Weston of MSN Money has named FinAid one of the 100 most useful Web sites on April 20, 2009. This guide included the following review of FinAid:

"Best sites for paying for college
FinAid. This is an indispensable site for anyone hoping to navigate the choppy waters of financial aid, with some of the best information available anywhere on student loans."

NetGuide Platinum Site

NetGuide announced on January 20, 1997, that it had named FinAid as a Platinum Site, "one of the best on the Web". NetGuide screened over 100,000 URLs and reviewed more than 50,000 sites, granting the Platinum Award to the best 5,000. NetGuide's review gives FinAid an overall rating of five stars, and writes: "Expert Mark Kantrowitz gives students a head start in procuring financial aid. You begin by calculating family need and continue through a convenient scholarship database. Kantrowitz streamlines what was once an excruciating process (although it still can be incredibly discouraging). A helpful "Scholarship Scam Alert" protects the uncautious: If you must pay money to get money, it may be a scam. The page also discusses grants, loans, overseas study, and special-interest demographic issues."

NetGuide Live
NetGuide Live gave FinAid a five-star rating. They wrote the following in their review of the site: "Expert Mark Kantrowitz gives students a head start in procuring financial aid. You begin by calculating family need and continue through a convenient scholarship database. Kantrowitz streamlines what was once an excruciating process (although it still can be incredibly discouraging). A helpful "Scholarship Scam Alert" protects the uncautious: If you must pay money to get money, it may be a scam. The page also discusses grants, loans, overseas study, and special-interest demographic issues."

Newsbytes News Network

FinAid was featured in "Internet Update", a daily feature of the Newsbytes News Network, on July 14, 1997. Newsbytes News Network is the oldest and largest computer industry electronic news service, founded in 1983, and counts over 100 newspapers and magazines, online services, major news services and information databases as subscribers. Their syndicate sites include CNN Custom News, Newspage, Clarinet, USA Today, and others. In their review of FinAid, they wrote: "This page includes a large amount of information about student financial aid, scholarships and fellowships. It's free, comprehensive, independent, and objective information and includes access to financial aid calculators, a bibliography of recommended reading, a place to submit your questions and alerts on scams. World Wide Web: http://www.finaid.org".

Platinum 100

FinAid was named one of the top 100 web sites of 1996 by the Platinum 100. Their review of the site says "The Finaid site provides links to sources of information about student financial aid. It is maintained by Mark Kantrowitz, author of the The Prentice Hall Guide to Scholarships and Fellowships for Math and Science Students, as a service to students and universities. Although not the prettiest page on the net, its basic layout and almost no graphics makes surfing a breeze even at the slowest speeds. This site is full of very useful information and is a must see for students and parents."

Point Survey

FinAid was rated among the top 5% of all web sites on the Internet by Point Survey. Point Survey provides site ratings and reviews on the World Wide Web. Their review of FinAid says that "college grant and loan information doesn't come any straighter than at this index" and "there's good information here", and gives the site ratings of 39/50 for Content, 20/50 for Presentation, and 30/50 for Experience.

Quicken

Quicken lists FinAid in their top picks for banking and borrowing. Their review of FinAid says: "Mammoth collection of links to financial aid information resources on the Internet. Mark Kantrowitz, co-author of "The Prentice Hall Guide to Scholarships and Fellowships for Math and Science Students," has created an extremely thorough map of the higher education financial thicket, which is filled with thorns and muddling mazes. Not only does he provide a myriad of sources for loans, grants, and other scholarship assistance, he also documents the scams and false promises that are hidden in some online offerings. There are calculators, discussion forums, and links to school financial aid offices, making FinAid that much more indispensable for anyone planning to pay tuition expenses."

Resource Pathways

Resource Pathways produces guides to the best sources of information on education-related topics such as choosing a school and finding financial aid. They review, evaluate, and rate resources in all media (e.g., books, CD-ROMs, etc.), not just web sites. Their review of FinAid says that "This is the ``must see'' of all the websites addressing themselves to financial aid for college. Mark Kantrowitz has won accolades, and deserves many more, for his selfless dedication to this amazing resource. You will find on Mark's site links to virtually any Internet resource focused to any degree on financial aid, and much, much more!" In their evaluation of the site, the commented that "This website demonstrates the best of the Internet's potential. It's free, it's comprehensive and current, it's designed well, it's genuinely helpful. Its content and tone reflect Mark's comprehensive understanding of this subject and the wonderfully altruistic spirit behind this remarkable effort." They gave the site a four-star rating, and named it the best site for its financial aid bibliography and links to financial aid web sites.

Smart Computing Magazine Top Site on the Internet

FinAid was selected as "one of the Web's Best Bank & Investment Sites" by the editors of Smart Computing Magazine and named a Top Site on the Internet on September 29, 1999.

SmartMoney Magazine Best in Category

FinAid was recognized as a "best in category site" in SmartMoney Magazine's 2000 Internet Guide. They reviewed more than 2,000 web sites in 31 categories.

Starting Point Hot Site

Starting Point selected FinAid as a Starting Point Hot Site for March 14, 1997, March 15, 1997, and March 16, 1997. FinAid was selected on the basis of votes received by Starting Point, including votes solicited on FinAid site.

StudySphere Award of Excellence

FinAid was selected "as one of the best educational resources on the Web by StudySphere" and granted the StudySphere Award of Excellence on July 9, 2006.

The Stick

FinAid was included in the November 1995 issue of The Stick (see Surf Sites, Volume 1, Number 6), a websurfer newsletter. Their review of FinAid says "If you're a college student or high school student, and you're wondering how you're going to pay for your education, you'll find an excellent collection of resources on this page. Also included here is a link to FastWEB (Financial Aid Search Through the WEB), a searchable database of more than 180,000 scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans -- use of which is free of charge."

Today Show

FinAid was mentioned on the Today Show on NBC on October 23, 2007 as part of a segment about freebies. It included the following review of FinAid:

"Love freebies? Check out this list
Click on these Web sites where you can get goodies without paying a dime

Who doesn't want something for nothing? Whether it's samples at the supermarket or two-for-one specials, getting the goods without paying is fun. Well, luckily for you, there's tons of places to get them. All you need to know is where to look! Here's the scoop on where you can get loads of free goodies:
...
Money for college
Is someone in your family headed off to college, but tuition is too much? Don't be discouraged; there is a lot of free money for qualifying college students out there. Start at this Web site: Finaid.org. Here you'll find a listing of undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships, all of which help students pay for their education."

U.S. News Online: Financial Aid

U.S. News & World Report maintains a short directory of financial aid resources on the World-Wide Web, as part of the Financial Aid section of US News Online's College Fair. They include the following reviews of FinAid:

"Financial Aid Information Page, by Mark Kantrowitz - This incredibly rich site offers plenty of advice and useful features, such as the Expected Family Contribution Estimator."

"There are several commercial scholarship search services on the web. Before you plunk down your cash, however, you should take a look at Mark Kantrowitz's "Commercial Scholarship Search Services" page for tips on how to avoid scams."

USA Today Online Hot Site Award

USA 
TODAY AWARD FinAid was selected for a Hot Site Award in the August 27, 1996 edition of USA Today Online. The award citation reads "A wealth of financial aid information is a mouse click away at FinAid, courtesy of Mark Kantrowitz, author of The Prentice Hall Guide to Scholarships and Fellowships for Math and Science Students." USA Today renewed the award on August 23, 2001, writing "This week we take a periodic look at favorite Hot Sites that have stood the test of Internet time -- at least 5 years -- and that seem to be well worth a repeat visit."

A June 22, 2007 article in USA Today, For a bit of advice, free websites click, selected FinAid as one of 17 "gems of personal-finance cyberspace" and "among the very best", listing it first in the "Paying for College" category. USA Today wrote:

  • What it is: A valuable site for college students and their families that provides detailed information about financial aid, student loans, saving for college, scholarships and more.
  • What we like about it: This is probably the most comprehensive college-savings site available. The site was founded by Mark Kantrowitz, a financial aid expert. The information is unbiased, authoritative and free. It details topics from military aid to loan-forgiveness programs. Kantrowitz updates the site to reflect changes in laws and regulations covering financial aid and student loans.
  • Coolest feature: Private lenders often promote their "borrower benefits" - reductions in a loan's interest rate or principal if a student makes a certain number of on-time payments or has payments automatically withdrawn from a checking account. But many borrowers don't qualify for these benefits. And their value can vary. A new feature at FinAid, the Loan Discount Analyzer, lets you calculate and compare the potential savings from borrower benefits.

1998 Webby Award Nominee (March 6, 1998)

FinAid was one of five nominees in the Money/Business category of the Webby Awards, which are modeled after the Academy Awards. Their review says: "Mark Kantrowitz, author of the Prentice Hall Guide to Scholarships and Fellowships for Math and Science Students, has put together an awesome collection of links on the general subject of financial aid. You'll find everything: financial aid calculators, lists of grants, some excellent FAQs. If you want dough for a diploma, start here."

Worldhot.com World's Hottest 100 Web Sites

FinAid was selected by Worldhot.com as one of the top 100 hottest web sites in 2000. FinAid continues to be listed in the Top 100 Finance Web Sites.

Yahoo!
[*]

FinAid is included in the Yahoo! Web catalog and given an [*] rating. They write in their description that the site is a "comprehensive free resource for student financial aid information on the Web. Free scholarship search, financial aid calculators, glossary, and bibliography."

 

 
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