SOURCE: CollegeWeekLive

March 04, 2008 09:14 ET

Helping Students Find Financial Aid Is Major Theme at CollegeWeekLive

Free Virtual College Fair Will Highlight Creative Ways to Afford and Pay for College

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 4, 2008) - CollegeWeekLive (http://www.collegeweeklive.com), the largest virtual college fair, today announced an extensive program of content and expert presentations on the subject of financial aid for families with undergraduate students. Taking 'place' as a FREE, interactive event on the Web on March 25 and 26, 2008, CollegeWeekLive is designed to help college-bound students and their parents find, get into, and afford to attend the university of their choice.

"While selecting and getting into college are important themes of CollegeWeekLive -- perhaps the most crucial concern of American families is how to pay for higher education," said Robert Rosenbloom, CEO of PlatformQ, the producer of CollegeWeekLive. "Two-thirds of American families with college-age children will have to borrow in order to finance the higher education funding gap."

Faced with uncertainty about the economy and how to finance their own retirements: millions of parents among the 78 million-strong Baby Boomer generation are concerned about funding their children's collegiate educations.

Confused by the massive quantity of information on financial aid from a wide range of sources, and by a daunting application process -- students and parents are in need of guidance in order to find and secure adequate funding for college education.

To address this need, CollegeWeekLive is a convenient online destination for students and parents seeking direction on scholarships and financial aid. Registered attendees of the FREE event will be able to visit www.collegeweeklive.com to find and download helpful reports and resources created by respected financial aid experts. These resources can help demystify the financial aid process and add clarity on the variety of funding options available (e.g. grants, scholarships, loans, work-study assistance tax credits, and more).

Maximizing its unique and highly interactive format, CollegeWeekLive will feature LIVE streaming video keynote presentations from experts on financial aid topics including:

-- "Everything You Need to Know About Federal Student Aid"

Micki Roemer, Office of Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education and past National Chair for the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)

-- "The Financial Aid Office as Your Advocate"

Ronald Johnson, Director of Financial Aid, UCLA and contributor to the Time-Life Books series "Financial Aid for College"

-- "Top 10 Ways to Make College Affordable"

Ann Coles, Senior Advisor of College Access Programs, TERI, and member of the advisory boards of Scholarship America, College Goal Sunday, and the American Council on Education.

Beyond watching the sessions from the convenience of their homes or offices, attendees of the conference can engage with these experts in real-time, interactive Q&A sessions using text and video chat and ask the speakers questions they may have.

CollegeWeekLive Scholarships and Video Contest

Doing its own part to help defray the cost of college, CollegeWeekLive is sponsoring two college scholarships for the March 2008 show. Worth $2,500 each, these scholarships can be applied to any accredited college, university, or trade school. For more information, rules or to apply for either scholarship go to: http://www.collegeweeklive.com/scholarships.html. In addition to its scholarships, CollegeWeekLive is hosting a YouTube.com CollegeWeekLive video contest open to any registered attendee of the event, also worth $2,500 to the winner.

The Financial Aid Gap: Facts and Figures

This spring (2008), some 3.32 million students will graduate from US high schools -- the largest number in the history of the nation. With more students applying to get into college and to receive financial aid assistance, competition is fierce. Additionally, a collection of recent developments is fueling the anxiety over paying for college, notably: recent federal tax law changes, a policy shift from grants to loans, a tightening of available loans from federal, state and private sources, and the rising overall cost of attending college.

In 2007, The College Board reported increases in the cost to of college, with the average total cost (tuition, room and board) to attend a private four-year college reaching $32,307 for the 2007-08 academic year. Total average charges to attend a public, four-year public university increased 5.9 percent to $13,589 this year.

This report also noted that in 2006-07, about three-quarters of full-time undergraduates received some form of financial aid with federal loans as the largest source (40 percent of the total, and grants from universities themselves as the second largest source (21 percent).

About CollegeWeekLive

CollegeWeekLive is a unique virtual event designed to allow people involved in the college admissions process (students, parents, teachers, counselors, colleges and universities) to connect and successfully interact with one another in ways that are impossible at physical events, through powerful Web-based software and services. PlatformQ, the producer of the CollegeWeekLive, is a new company whose mission is to leverage the accessibility of online events to connect individuals, companies and organizations -- across North America and internationally -- who might otherwise not be able to travel to physical events or communicate with leading experts or thought leaders. For a current listing of the full agenda and speaker roster, participating colleges and universities, and to register for CollegeWeekLive-March 2008, please visit: http://www.collegeweeklive.com.

CollegeWeekLive and PlatformQ are trademarks of PlatformQ, Inc. All other trademarks or service marks are property of their respective owners.

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