FASTAid is owned and operated by the Cassidy Endowment for Education, which was started in 1993 by Daniel J. Cassidy to provide centralized access to private-sector financial aid, including scholarships and grants.
It’s clear that we are meant to be reassured by the statement on the sign-up page that says “we are the good guys,” but you’ll still need to give up your personal information including name, email address, home address, and phone number before you have access to the search engine. The rest of the site is accessible by going to the site map (a tiny link at the bottom of the Home page).
To sign up:
- Enter academic information and click CONTINUE.
- Enter organizations and affiliations: unions, organizations, and religious affiliations. Click CONTINUE.
- Enter personal information: family heritage, ethnicity, gender, marital status, and interests. Click CONTINUE.
- Enter residential information: city, county, state, country, and citizenship. Click CONTINUE.
- Enter intended field(s) of study and click CONTINUE, then BEGIN SEARCH.
We got ten results, five of which were writing contests and one was an interest-free loan. One of contest award statements offered a monetary prize and an electric typewriter! None of these returns were targeted to the five pages of information that were required. There’s a “Saved” link on the toolbar at the top of the page, but we couldn’t find any way to save anything. One has to wonder when this site was last updated (the most recent date mentioned that we could find was 2007), and if the site is essentially defunct, why are the owners still collecting students’ personal data?
There’s really nothing on FASTAid to recommend it. The scholarship results were abysmal and outdated (a typewriter? really?), and the site as a whole is frustrating to navigate. Until the owners give FASTAid a little TLC and a lot more meaningful content, it isn’t worth your time.
We rate FASTAid 1 out of 5:
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