SOURCE: CollegeWeekLive

July 14, 2008 08:00 ET

Students Must "Borrow Smart" in the Midst of Financial Aid Crisis, According to Experts at CollegeWeekLive

First-Time Virtual Conference Connects 3,000 Students With Financial Aid Experts and College Officers From MIT, UCLA and 30 Other Colleges -- to Help Navigate Student Loan Crunch

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - July 14, 2008) - Last week on July 10, 2008, CollegeWeekLive™ hosted CollegeWeekLive: "Paying for College," the first-ever, major online event focused on addressing families' needs and challenges in financing higher education. During this free Web-enabled gathering, over 3,000 students and parents across North America used the latest Internet technologies -- including live video chat, live webcasts, and virtual environments -- to connect with funding experts, lending sources, and financial aid officers at 30+ colleges and universities.

"About 121 lenders have suspended participation in federal consolidation loans, representing 85% of last year's loan volume, $40 billion for 1.4 million borrowers," said Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher of finaid.org, and one of a world-class faculty of financial aid authorities who chose "Paying for College" as the venue to share their perspectives on the state of college funding and share tips and suggestions with a nationwide Web-based audience. "[As a result, students must] borrow smart," said Kantrowitz.

Other financial aid speakers at CollegeWeekLive included:

-- Dan Barkowitz, Director of Financial Aid and Employment (MIT) (http://web.mit.edu/sfs/)

-- Ann Coles, Senior Advisor, TERI (www.teri.org)

-- Peter Van Buskirk, Author of "The Admission Game" (www.theadmissiongame.com)

-- Asheesh Advani, CEO, Virgin Money (www.virginmoneyus.com)

-- Don Fenstermaker, CEO/Founder NextStudent, (www.nextstudent.com)

-- Edward C. Flores, Financial Aid Outreach Coordinator, UCLA (www.fao.ucla.edu/)

-- Sue O'Flaherty, Office of Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education/FAFSA

-- Kim Clark, Senior Writer, US News & World Report

For more details on the speakers and sessions visit http://www.collegeweeklive.com/speakers.html or http://www.collegeweeklive.com/agenda.html

"As the second largest expense (after a mortgage), paying for higher education is a stressful reality for many American families," said Chris Charron, Vice President of PlatformQ, the producer of CollegeWeekLive. "Our event connected families directly with funding experts, representatives from student loan organizations, as well as college financial aid officers -- especially important in this year of turmoil in the lending market."

Paying for College -- Snapshot:

-- First of its kind, major online-only event focused on financial aid

-- Attracted over 3,000 of attendees and participants from across the United States.

-- Over 14,400 visits to financial aid and college booths.

-- Financial Aid officers from over 30 U.S. universities and colleges and leading private and public lending sources interacted with visitors at the event. Exhibitors and sponsors hosted 3-D booths in the event's virtual "Financial Aid" and "College Hall" tradeshow exhibit areas.

-- 10 hours of live streaming video presentations on financial aid, student loans, scholarships, from experts who participated from satellite studios in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, and elsewhere.

Doors are still Open

While the 'live' interactions of CollegeWeekLive "Paying for College" are now over -- anyone who attended, or would still like to access the event's content, can do so FREE of CHARGE, by registering at www.collegeweeklive.com. Archived content and information includes:

-- Streaming video presentations from expert speakers.

-- Downloadable materials (reports, literature, resources, worksheets, PowerPoints) from participating sponsors and colleges' virtual booths, and more.

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.

Visit 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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