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Showing posts with label kantrowitz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kantrowitz. Show all posts

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review of National Scholarship Providers Association

Review of National Scholarship Providers Association

This is a professional review of the National Scholarship Providers Association (a/k/a N.SP.A.) The National Scholarship Providers Association claims to be the "only national organization dedicated solely to supporting the needs of professionals administering scholarships in colleges and universities, non-profits, foundations, and businesses."

In order to carefully review National Scholarship Providers Association, we must review National Scholarship Providers Association with the same set of criteria we use for other scholarship search databases. However, the National Scholarship Providers Association claims it is not a scholarship search service, but rather a membership of scholarship sponsors. The National Scholarship Providers Association has a very controversial history, dating back to its association with Mark Kantrowitz, National Association of Student Financial-Aid Administrators (NASFAA), and other alphabet organizations that all seem to be inter-related. The question is whether or not organizations like National Scholarship Providers Association dilute scholarship funds or inflate profits for scholarship administrators?

Purpose of the National Scholarship Providers Association review.

The purpose of this professional review of the National Scholarship Providers Association is to assist women, moms, mothers, and students, as well as educators evaluate the merits, claims, and services of National Scholarship Providers Association. This review of National Scholarship Providers Association is important because the National Scholarship Providers Association is --like FastWeb, Kantrowitz, and other alphabetically-related organizations -- members and/or advertisers of NASFAA.

Function and Mission Statement of the National Scholarship Providers Association

According to its published claims, the National Scholarship Providers Association asserts that its membership "is open to organizations, colleges and universities, and individuals who are active in the scholarship provider community.." In reality, tests were conducted to verify this claim. The tests conducted were to use "Scholarship providers" that charged application fees, handling fees, and engaged in other legal acts that contradicted stated principles of Mark Kantrowitz (who provides advice and consultation to the National Scholarship Providers Association). In many instances, certain "scholarship providers" efforts to join this "network" were either rebuffed or ignored.

Therefore, there are questions as to the true mission statement of the National Scholarship Providers Association. Is the National Scholarship Providers Association simply an alter-ego of the policies of Mark Kantrowitz who seems to have a defined policy as restricting who and which "Scholarship providers" are able to "join" the National Scholarship Providers Association, and which alphabet organization(s) is allowed to "profit" from an association with NASFAA or Fastweb, LLC? Why does the National Scholarship Providers Association assess fees upfront to scholarship providers, knowing that these fees are being disbursed from scholarship funds bequeathed or donated?

High Membership Fees of the National Scholarship Providers Association

The memberships of the National Scholarship Providers Association are extreme and excessive. The fees consume a significant chunk of funds that were intended solely for the benefit of scholarship recipients.

Table of Excessive Membership Fees of the National Scholarship Providers Association
Disbursed Scholarship DollarsMembership Fees
Less than $250,000$180
$250,000 to $499,999$240
$500,000 to $999,999$415
$1,000,000 to 9,999,999$600
$10,000,000 or more$1,000
Table of Excessive Membership Fees of the National Scholarship Providers Association

Other dues of the National Scholarship Providers Association range as high as $2,000. In the 1990's, Mark Kantrowitz raised a big issue of legitimate scholarship sponsors charging application fees for the assessment, evaluation, adminstration, and detailed analysis of merit-based scholarships, grants, and financial-aid. This "so-called" and media-labeled "Financial-Aid Expert" broad-brushed every single scholarship sponsor in the entire United States of America as a "scam" for assessing any fee whose mere purpose was to compensate professional educators for services rendered, and to keep administrative fees to a reasonable level.

As a so-called "financial-aid expert", the non-sensical logic of Mark Kantrowitz was that such fees were unnecessary, not needed, and were furthermore simply evidence of a "scam." Hundreds of scholarship sponsors who had been faithfully awarding, administering, and providing scholarships were now ---according to a non-certified "Financial-Aid Expert" -- operating a lottery-style scholarship scam. It is no coincidence that Mark Kantrowitz has not made any similar claims against the National Scholarship Providers Association; Read this article why Kantrowitz took a high-paying job from Scholarship Points (a company that is not sponsors lottery-style scholarships in violation of the membership criteria of National Scholarship Providers Association.).

The fees charged by his buddy organization, the National Scholarship Providers Association, are extreme, excessive, and completely unnecessary. I am not aware of any information or evidence that the National Scholarship Providers Association is a non-profit organization or that it operates at arms-length from all of its members.

Board of directors of the National Scholarship Providers Association
Mark Kantrowitz: Hypocrisy Statements

According to National Scholarship Providers Association, "entities that provide scholarships which are awarded without meaningful criteria and/or on a random basis (e.g. through sweepstakes or a lottery) are not eligible for the Scholarship Provider Memberships." What an interesting statement. Mark Kantrowitz accepted employment with Scholarship Points in May of 2013 with a company that apparently does not even meet the basic criteria for a membership into an organization where he serves on the Board of Directors!! Are you kidding me?

The apparent hypocrisy of Mark Kantrowitz is not surprising. While operating out of a make-shift, unlicensed, "office" on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Kantrowitz crafted FinAid.Org. Despite his humble office, and one-man corporation, he was invited to speak on the subject of student financial-aid before the U.S. Congress as guest of the FTC. The Federal Trade Commission, ate, swallowed, and gulped down every false, deceptive, and misleading statement of Mark Kantrowitz. No matter how wild the statement, the FTC considered Mark Kantrowitz the second coming of Jesus Christ. Having relatives in the FTC also helped. The FTC invited this flawed, self-serving, and skilled self-promotion artist to speak before the United States Congress knowing full well he had not accomplished a single prominent financial-aid act worthy of such invitation.

The U.S. main-stream media (Bloomberg, the Los Angeles Times, and many other main-stream media organizations) spoon-feed Americans, educators, and students the unproven statements of Mark Kantrowitz. Many Better Business Bureau chapters followed the lead of the FTC. The main-steam media dressed Mark Kantrowitz as an independent, objective, ethical, and legitimate "Financial-Aid Expert." The FTC went so far as to encourage the U.S. Congress to pass a legislative act that addressed purported "Scholarship fraud" while --- get this--- the same proposed legislative Act ignored over $500 billion of student-loan fraud. Tell me who is the "Financial-Aid Expert" or the "Financial-Aid" self-promotion artist. The National Scholarship Providers Association appears to be nothing more than a for-profit extension of Mark Kantrowitz/FinAid.Org.

Superfluous Membership Features of the National Scholarship Providers Association

the National Scholarship Providers Association has numerous features for scholarship providers. Not all the features, however, are really necessary. Many of the features of the National Scholarship Providers Association are essentially the same features that the scholarship providers can do for themselves, or with others.

Do you need the National Scholarship Providers Association?

Do you need the National Scholarship Providers Association? No. Not really. Scholarship providers, scholarship sponsors should be taking the principal of valuable scholarship funds and spending those monies on forp-profit third parties. The main reason for using any scholarship search service is the understanding that you are using a legitimate, complete, and non-censored scholarship database. If your scholarship search service is filtering scholarship entries then you will miss out on valuable scholarships. FinAid.Org has a history of even blocking comments on its Facebook channel.

Summary of the National Scholarship Providers Association

Typically, middle-man, organizations that purport to help schlolarship sponsors increase their reach or appeal are nothing more than buddy organizations set-up by for-profit scholarship search service companies and advertisers to siphon away valuable scholarship funds, and leave very little to the intended beneficiaries.

Organizations that join such third-party organizations are essentially allowing scholarship funds to be wasted in exchange for advertising services. The literature of the National Scholarship Providers Association is pretty direct if you read the details. This is a third-party organization which solicits membership fees on a sliding scale (the bigger, the scholarship fund, the bigger the membership fee), and then to add obscenity to its greed declares that a dominant component of their membership services is increase traffic and leads to the websites of their members.

In summary, membership fees paid to National Scholarship Providers Association can erode as much as half or more of donated scholarship funds. Over a 50-year scholarship fund lifetime, the membership fee percent fee charged by the National Scholarship Providers Association may erode 63 percent of the scholarship fund, and leave only 37% remaining. Deduct other expenses, and students will be left with very little scholarship funds. Scholarship funds that are depreciated by third-party organizations and which create the affect of compounding costs do not serve the best interests of the public nor intended scholarship recipients. Why spend an extra $1,000 when you can the item yourself for $1.00?

The past literature, the advertisements, the associations, and the detailed involvement of Mark Kantrowitz, leads me to believe that the National Scholarship Providers Association is a for-profit "buddy organization" set-up by a scholarship search service to generate profits for the members, Scholarship sponsors that agree to such fee-sharing arrangements, or pay-to-advertise buddy organizations, do not have high ethical standards.


A comprehensive table of Financial-aid Scholarship Points:
Scholarship Points



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fraud of the SAT Cottage Industry

Have any of you watched the new NAAS-NEWS video called "Fraud of the SAT Cottage Industry. ?

It is a great video. The video deals with the SAT cottage industry. Millions of dollars each year are being made by The College Board, and members of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA; their alphabet-related pet dog, NACAC, is run by Valerie Williams.

Experts, news media, and many persons, consider the SAT test to be an untrue indicator of potential success. In fact, the SAT test has been accused of being racist, unfair, and unnecessary. Yet, over many years, many member colleges and universities of NASFAA have required that students take the test. This collaboration of NASFAA/NACAC members has provided fertile ground for fraud, and immense profits.

Students and parents should not be forced to take the SAT test. Also, NASFAA and The College Board both have ties dating back to 1996 with federal informant Mark Kantrowitz. Kantrowitz fed bogus information to the DOJ, USPS, and the FTC. His business of deceit ("financial-aid expert", and false "Reliability Reports") and evasion was sponsored by NASFAA.

Several years later, the N.Y. Attorney General busted many members of NASFAA for the student-loan fraud crisis. This proves you cannot trust a counselor who is a member of NASFAA/NACAC. Many news-reporters continue to quote Kantrwitz but do not disclose his background and work as a federal informant.

NAAS-NEWS is an independent news division subsidiary of National Academy of American Scholars. The views and comments of subscribers do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NAAS-NEWS or National Academy of American Scholars (NAAS). We welcome video content from paid subscribers or free videos from the YouTube community. NAAS is a private organization that features a subscription service for access to special news, and private merit-based awards for eligible high school seniors and college students.