The average student today is graduating with more than $20,000 of loan debt, which is why securing financial aid, and specifically scholarships, is more important than ever. Fortunately, there is an estimated $3 billion in private scholarships available each year for students who are looking for help to pay for school (according to Scholarship search engines like can be a great place to start.

Fastweb boasts to be the leading online resource for finding scholarships and one of the most “trusted” scholarship services on the web. Although there are many scholarship options out there, as you might imagine, they are highly competitive. As a free subscriber site, Fastweb offers their services to users that fill in a brief online profile. Fastweb can be a one-stop-shop for students as well as parents. Here is an overview of what the site has to offer:

  • Locate targeted scholarships and financial aid — easily qualify for scholarships based on your strengths, interests and skills.
  • Search for colleges and career advice
  • Find jobs & internship opportunities
  • Access resources and articles on relevant topics such as money, career, and student life

Fastweb’s services are easy to use and designed to target each user’s particular interests and college goals. In order to access the FastWeb features, users must create a personal profile (basic questions, like name, email address, country of origin, birth date, gender, and your current year of school). Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Fastweb, stresses that you should “complete all of the optional questions in the scholarship search profile for about twice as many [scholarship] matches.” The site will prompt you to answer whether or not you want to be a part of their mailing list, which could include receiving marketing promotional emails. Once you’ve created a user profile, you can log in and begin accessing the site’s tools and resources.

Your My Fastweb Account will include scholarship deadline reminders (upper left hand corner) and a Favorites tab where you can save scholarships you are interested in by clicking in the checkbox and choosing Save to Favorites. If there are any applicable scholarships based on the college you’ve entered into your profile, or even colleges within a state in which you listed as an interest, then Fastweb will list any of those programs as well. There is also a pen icon alongside the link to every scholarship, which will open a popup window where you can include a note or send yourself a reminder.

Pro tip: Avoid the “Special Offers” in between various scholarships; they are really just ads.