Choosing a field of interest, prospective schools, and everything else that comes along with considering a future can be stressful. Especially when considering the excessive costs that accompany most colleges. Figuring out how to afford it all can be a major challenge. That’s why resources such as Fastweb can be helpful.

Fastweb is one of the first websites that populated the Internet. Founded in May 1995 by Larry Organ, the site garnered the registration of more than 270 students in its first 24 hours.

In its tenure on the World Wide Web, Fastweb has helped more than 50 million students obtain scholarships to help pay for college, with 9 million currently active members taking advantage of the website's services.

The first reiteration of the site asked two simple questions: “What's Your Major?” and “Want To Be Impressed?” Over time, the value of its services deepened, incorporating financial aid advice with the help of Mark Kantrowitz, founder of

Fastweb continues to guide students through the financial aid process and beyond, with about one in three college students using Fastweb as a reliable resource for college preparedness and financial aid literacy.

What Is

Fastweb gives prospective students the chance to find scholarships that cater to their subject, major, and academic aspirations. It is a highly popular website regularly recommended by educators, as its database of thousands of scholarships has positioned it as a valued resource.

Fastweb is the solution for weary students intimidated by the college application process. Even though there are many award opportunities for almost any kind of student, many do not apply.

Some of the excuses presented by students who don't take advantage of scholarship money include not having time to apply, feelings of inadequacy, or feeling like scholarships only cater to first-year students. Not only are there opportunities for traditional students, but there are opportunities for graduate students and nontraditional students as well.

Before the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and early 2000's, students were required to do more than just apply to scholarships. Students had to hunt them down, ensure that they fit the requirements of the award, and continuously stay in contact with their school counselors throughout the process.

Fastweb cuts the middleman out of the equation, allowing students, parents, and counselors to connect with a quantifiable and viable pool of scholarships with the help of Fastweb's search engine and array of filters.

Fastweb Features

Fastweb has changed the accessibility of scholarships for college students. College students are supposed to tend to their recreational activities throughout their high school career, possibly even holding a job or other leadership positions.

The value of scholarships can, unfortunately, take a backseat to these real-world responsibilities. Technological convenience and advancement have made scholarship searches easier, with some scholarships like the Experience Data Quality Scholarship emphasizing the role that technology has in a student's quality of life.

Fastweb also guarantees compatibility with a student's profile, connecting relevant information to the requirements of a scholarship. Websites like Fastweb present all of the information that the student needs – including the deadline, required writing materials, and designated groups that the scholarship caters to.

It also takes advantage of tech-savvy Millennials and the younger generation who are going to go to college in the next couple of years.  There are even scholarships for those who are technologically savvy, like the Delete Cyberbullying Scholarship, which is designed to support students who have dedicated time outside of the classroom to the issue of online bullying and harassment.

College Search

Fastweb present students with several criteria to hone in on potential colleges. The site's search function allows students to look for specific school via name or within miles from a city or ZIP code.

For those who are still early in the college selection process, Fastweb also presents an array interests, uniting students with colleges that focus on subjects like business, physical sciences, education, or agriculture. Fastweb database of colleges also lets you pinpoint universities in different states.

Fastweb has not forgotten the sacrifices and oblations of our armed forces, with a dedicated web space to those who have served their country. Fastweb has dedicated pages to the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Thankfully, those in the armed forces will usually be given leeway when it comes to securing public loans, scholarships, and opportunities to obtain additional funding.

Scholarship Search

Fastweb scholarships first started as a database – and this is where the service shines and becomes particularly useful. You can peruse through the database by first creating a profile to assure that it connects you with relevant opportunities.

Fastweb will then instantly match your profile to a proper scholarship, presenting instructions as to how you can apply to win. The main scholarship search page represents several featured scholarships at any given moment.

Internship and Job Search

The internship and job search section is dedicated to a database of articles that will ensure your success during your job hunt. For students, there are featured internships that students registered to Fastweb will take advantage of.

For a more personalized list of internships and career opportunities, you can create a profile and log in to view your matches. The web page provides specific opportunities related to your interests, while still informing you on the broader scope of internships trends.

How Fastweb Works

How Fastweb works is surprisingly straightforward, with its algorithm doing most of the heavy work to ensure meaningful opportunities that are relevant to your online profile. By creating and signing up for an account, you will gain access to 1.5 million scholarships. Additional features will ensure that you do not need to peruse and scour the Internet to find relevant grants. Fastweb will provide financial aid help, college admissions trends for your region or school, and budgeting tools.

The signup page on Fastweb not only caters to students, but also to parents who want financial guidance. For students, Fastweb asks for relevant details like your grade level, your current GPA, and your ethnicity before allowing you to connect with potential opportunities.

Throughout the signup process, you'll be given several offers to sign up for the Navy or other institutions that can help pay for college. These suggestions can be ignored if all you need is to see the scholarships you are eligible for.

Once the signup process is complete, you are met with new matches and their total potential value. The advantage of Fastweb is in its ability to scour the internet for you, doing most of the work to find scam-free opportunities. You can also use your grades to measure your chances of getting accepted into a particular school. Fastweb compiles the percentage of people accepted, SAT percentile of incoming students, and scholarships culled by the university.

Beyond Scholarship

Fastweb's tools and resources span several decades, with the website attempting to tackle common issues from different angles. It has tools that can help parents conceptualize out of pocket costs, secure a private student loan, and monitor payments post-graduation. Here are some of the additional tools that Fastweb offers to make the academic life of the student and the financial support from parents be less of a burden.

Budgeting Calculator

With the cost of tuition increasing exponentially, students and families need to employ competent budgeting strategies to survive the financial burden of a college degree. College degrees in top universities like Harvard University had their tuition rise faster than inflation, with current tuition being 17 times more than the cost between 1971 through 1972.

In 2015, if Harvard tuition were to stay aligned with the inflation rate, tuition would be about $15,189 instead of $48,278. Unfortunately, this is a trend that is not only observed in top-tier institutions, but it is a trend that is affected by almost all levels of advanced academia.

Thankfully, the Fastweb's budgeting calculators consist of three calculators that will help families conceptualize the cost of a degree from their prospective colleges. The cost projector emphasizes a reality of college tuition – it is rising about twice the rate of inflation.

If you are a parent who is readying their child for college in middle school, then Fastweb's cost projector will inform you how much tuition will cost once your child enters as a freshman. You'll be able to select a four or two-year college, enter current tuition costs, and the year that you are planning to enroll your child. This would give you a real-world view as to the end value of a degree in the future.

The loan payment calculator allows you to input the loan balance, interest rates, associated fees, and the terms of the loan. It pulls information from current student loans like the Federal Stafford Loan and the Federal Plus loan.

The best solution to funding a college degree is early preparation. Fastweb's savings plan calculator shows much money you need to save monthly in an interest-bearing account. The college savings calculator informs that parents should save for about one-third of the cost of a college education – preferably half.

Graduate School Scholarships

The importance of scholarships and securing funds tend to be emphasized for freshmen students, inadvertently promoting the misconception that all other grade levels, including graduate students, aren't eligible for scholarships. There are as many scholarships for graduate students as there are for first-year students.

Fastweb not only helps graduate students equip themselves with the financial know-how of funding their advanced studies, but there are separate categories to ensure academic preparedness. There are guides to maximize aid eligibility, information on grants about graduate projects, different types of scholarships, as well as information about fellowships and assistantships.

Graduate school is an additional tab on your already hefty student loan obligations stemming from undergraduate studies. Fastweb has information to ensure that graduate students can maneuver this space competently and confidently.

Maneuvering Private Student Loans

Private student loans are recommended once public loans have been exhausted. Securing a private loan can be a bit more labor-intensive, as it involves creditworthiness and the financial history of not only of the students but also of the parents.

Fastweb breaks down the concept of the private student loan – including what it is, how it is funded, the reason as to why students choose private loans, and how to choose a viable lender. Coupled with a database of articles to ensure that students, educators, and parents stay informed, Fastweb simplifies the confusing world of student loans in layman's terms.

Note that is typically recommended that private loans are used as a last resort. These types of loans will typically have higher limits, but also harsher penalty and fees.

A Resource for Educators

Fastweb has all the tools to ensure that students and their families can choose an appropriate college, major, and exhaust all the appropriate options to fund an academic career. Fastweb has expanded, with an online hub to help educators stay engaged with their students throughout the financial aid process.

Fastweb provides educators with free printed materials to distribute to their students, with a newsletter to ensure that teachers and counselors stay updated with the latest information. Fastweb also has a new scholarship list builder, allowing instructors to customize a list of scholarships for distinct students.

Student Deals and Promos

After shopping for schools and securing appropriate funding, a student needs to save as much as possible throughout their academic careers. Fastweb also caters to students who want to reward themselves while still being financially responsible with a list of deals and promos that placate their needs.

Fastweb continuously updates the listing of recommended offers that allow students to save money while shopping at Top Shop, AT&T, Anthropologie, and many other vendors.

Is Fastweb Legit?

Fastweb is one of the oldest databases for scholarships, internship opportunities, and colleges. Throughout its existence, Fastweb has emboldened students, making them feel comfortable throughout the enrollment and application process. This has positioned them as a trusted source of information for generations.

Monster Worldwide has acquired Fastweb, but it has stayed steadfast on its transparency and its value for students and their families. Recently Fastweb won an award for financial literacy education in 2012.

Fastweb is routinely heralded and celebrated by major news networks, education forums, and institutions for its tools and value for students and their families. Fastweb was at an opportune time during the Internet's conception. It has taken advantage of the opportunity and has created a space in the online world for those prepping for the workforce.