Everybody's Go-To Methodical Mind
Mark Kantrowitz "is the brains behind FinAid, an encyclopedic Web site on the topic, and Fastweb, a scholarship search site. He devotes a good part of his considerable mental energy to studying the inner workings of the financial-aid machine, calling attention to its flaws, and explaining it to the rest of us," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. According to the profile on Kantrowitz, "[h]is policy papers go out to dozens of legislative aides, among others, and his authoritative answers to the questions of financial-aid administrators have turned up on a professional e-mail list. For students and families struggling to understand aid-award letters or manage student loans, he acts as a lifeline. And while Mr. Kantrowitz associates with all of those stakeholders, he doesn't fit in any group. At various times, he's taken positions that align with different camps. ... Financial aid fascinates Mr. Kantrowitz. The system, to him, is the key to solving a complex puzzle: how to make college more accessible to less-advantaged students. He sees that as the mission underlying his math. 'I'm always focused,' he says, 'on what's in students' best interest.' Though data and analysis are his bread and butter, Mr. Kantrowitz has been known to express strong opinions on policy issues. ... 'Folks have questioned his affiliations and ties,' says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. 'But I personally haven't seen an instance where his papers or research has appeared biased.'"
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