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New web site to find college and money

April 2, 2009 3:50:58 PM PDT
Finding the right college is often a challenge, and tuition goes up each year. But there's a new web site that helps students zero in on the colleges likely to be the best ones for them. And it tells them what financial aid they might get. From computers in their school library, students can plan their college careers, all from a single web site.

"Based upon what you put into the computer, it matches you to which college would be your best," said student Nathan Fox.

The Collegiate Zone is a Texas-based company whose web site's main feature is known as Topquest. By submitting information that includes grades and standardized test scores, students are then matched with colleges. Then, they can learn how to pay for them.

"We bring to the table all scholarships specific to universities and colleges around the country into one location," said Collegiate Zone CEO Stuart Scandridge.

"It brings it all together," said student Sarah Giles, "and it makes things so much easier, rather than, you know, having to search for them everywhere on the web."

There are other websites designed to match the college hopeful with the right college. But the people behind Topquest feel that their web site may change the way that individual students, and even high school guidance counselors, approach the college application process."

Guidance counselors can log on and monitor the progress of their students. The site also features "Top Scholar" for students interested in the arts and sciences, and "Top Jock" for student athletes looking for college opportunities.

"There are hundreds of millions of dollars that are just left and not used, on an annual basis, which is a real shame because there are people who can qualify for those, they just don't know where they are," said Chuck Watson, Collegiate Zone board chairman.

There is a fee for individual use. Schools can get reduced rates, and the company says schools with mostly low-income students can use it at no cost.

To see this web site, go to: http://www.collegiatezone.net/

Web produced by: Lila Corn


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