If you thought Facebook was just a place to keep up with friends and build your dream farm or climb the ranks of the mafia, think again. With the help of a few high-profile business and political moguls and youth-empowered companies, the social networking site has now become a financial aid
Later this year, students will be able to take advantage of a financial aid application, which will take information from their profile and use it to find relevant financial aid opportunities, according to PR Newswire
. The app will also enable students to communicate and learn from friends and family during the process as well as provide step-by-step instructions on how to navigate the financial aid process – i.e. fill out the FAFSA, calculate debt, etc.
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The financial aid app was imagined by a recent University of Nevada graduate, Devin Valencia, who won MTV’s “Get Schooled” College Affordability Challenge
. Valencia was among 200 students who submitted their idea in the College Affordability Challenge, reports PR Newswire
. She was announced as one of three winners in a Capitol Hill briefing on January 19th. But she clinched the win and a $10,000 prize when her concept was voted the best of the three finalists by thousands of college students
At the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), where the announcement was made, PR Newswire
quoted the President of College Board as saying, "There are many great options for students and families, but too often they don't get the right information at the right time. Thanks to Devin's work, and the work of many others, we are moving closer to the day when cost will be only a speed bump on the road to a college degree."
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Former President Clinton echoed the same thought, captured by PR Newswire
at the unveiling: "College affordability is an urgent issue that demands innovation and a fundamental rethinking of the ways students access higher education...A college degree is not just critical, it is essential to America's economic future, and it's important that we continue to find ways to harness the power of technology to close the educational opportunity gap."
MTV and CollegeBoard will be putting Valencia’s plan into action with financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and from former President Clinton's CGI. The application will be available in the fall.