SOURCE: The First Marblehead Corporation

May 15, 2008 15:00 ET

First Marblehead Partners With TuitionCoach to Deliver Enhanced College Financing Resources to Students and Families

SmartBorrowing.org and TuitionCoach.com Team Up as Planning for Fall Semester Begins

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - May 15, 2008) - The First Marblehead Corporation (NYSE: FMD) today announced that it is partnering with TuitionCoach to enhance both companies' offerings of tips, tools and tactics for helping families determine how best to pay for college.

Along with a current array of advice, articles, research data and other resources, users of First Marblehead's SmartBorrowing.org will soon have direct access to calculators, worksheets and blogs from TuitionCoach.com, an online tool that combines the expertise of its cofounder, admissions and funding advisor Dr. Paul Wrubel, with easy-to-use technology. The new content will be available on the SmartBorrowing.org site refresh scheduled for later this month, just as students around the country are beginning to plan for the fall semester.

"This is a really natural alliance for both companies," said First Marblehead CEO Jack Kopnisky. "We developed SmartBorrowing.org last year to fill what we saw as a serious education gap. As a student-centric company built on the belief that all Americans should have access to the means necessary to fulfill their education dreams, we feel it is important to ensure that families have the facts they need to make good decisions about paying for college. Adding content from TuitionCoach.com puts another powerful tool in the information arsenal."

First Marblehead's SmartBorrowing.org was built around original research the company conducted about many common pitfalls families face in higher education financing. The site's easy-to-follow, five-pronged approach includes practical advice on starting early; accurately estimating expenses; seeking grants, scholarships and Federal aid first; borrowing only what is needed to fill the gap; and being an informed consumer. "With tuitions on the rise, Federal support not keeping up, family savings staying flat, and more students than ever going to college, we created SmartBorrowing.org to make sure that people were asking the right questions -- and getting the right answers -- about how to pay for school," Kopnisky said.

Wrubel said that the Smart Borrowing message aligns closely with the advice that he's been providing for nearly two decades. "One of the things that I've discovered in 18 years of helping people around the globe get into and finance college is that the process of paying for higher education was needlessly mysterious. Working together, TuitionCoach and First Marblehead will be able to reach more people than ever with the critical message that you should borrow smart if you decide that borrowing is the right choice to pay for college."

About The First Marblehead Corporation -- First Marblehead provides financial solutions that help students achieve their dreams. The Company helps meet the growing demand for private education loans by providing national and regional financial institutions and educational institutions, as well as education loan marketers, with an integrated suite of design, implementation and capital market services for student loan programs. First Marblehead supports responsible lending and is a strong proponent of the smart borrowing principle, which encourages students to access scholarships, grants and federally-guaranteed loans before considering private education loans. For more information, go to www.firstmarblehead.com.

About TuitionCoach -- TuitionCoach is a personalized internet-based program created by The College Company that guides families step-by-step through the college financial aid process, offering: expert tips for completing financial aid applications; guidance to maximize financial aid eligibility; a personalized assessment of a student's financial aid award; analysis of college funding options; and email consultation. TuitionCoach.com's tools are based on experience derived from Dr. Paul Wrubel, a college funding advisor who has spent 35 years in education arming families with the knowledge and guidance to upgrade their college choices. For more information, go to www.TuitionCoach.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Janice D. Walker
    Corporate Communications
    617-638-2047

    Jeff Landis
    Corporate Communications
    617-638-2277