Dad of Divas' Reviews: Introducing Paying for College Has Never Been So Much Fun

Friday, October 22, 2010

Introducing Paying for College Has Never Been So Much Fun

Offering a new solution to the problem of escalating educational costs, launches today.  The innovative platform channels teenagers’ enthusiasm for casual online games by inviting them to compete to win scholarship money in an arena that is free and fun, secure and social. 

The first in a planned series of sponsor-supported platforms by Internet Sport Games Associates (ISGA), is the brainchild of marketing executive Angelo Tartaro.  Recognizing the increasing popularity of casual online games among middle- and high-school students, a demographic which will also bear the burden of skyrocketing educational costs, Tartaro assembled a team of marketing, technology and video game professionals to develop the solution.

“With the average annual cost of a college education exceeding $30,000, and the average debt load of a college graduate exceeding $20,000, a college degree is a significant financial burden,” said Tartaro.  “We’re aiming to make that goal more attainable for kids who aren’t necessarily the star athletes or valedictorians, by leveraging one of their favorite pastimes for educational purposes.” 

Although registered members may play any of the site’s flash games for free any time they wish, competition for scholarships is grouped into a series of 75 day rounds.  Players will compete against the entire community to generate the highest cumulative scores for 45 days.  A time limit of 20-minutes is imposed on each competition. Within 30 days, the 15 players with the highest scores are flown to Disney’s BoardWalk Resort to compete head-to-head for the scholarships.  The first round of competition kicks off November 1, with participants playing for a $10,000 first prize.  Each of the 15 finalists will receive scholarship money, in the form of 529 plan contributions that can be used towards educational expenses. Scholarships will only be awarded to middle-and high-school students, aged 13 and above.  Competition rounds will repeat every 45 days, for a total of 120 planned scholarship opportunities in the next year.

“As the site grows in reach and popularity, we plan to increase the number and amount of scholarships awarded. For students trying to pay for an education, everything that can help defray costs—from tuition to text books—is valuable” added Joe Roth, president and COO, IGSA. “ provides advertisers with a unique opportunity to engage with a coveted demographic of teens and their parents in a wholesome and educational context.”

Funded by carefully-vetted advertising and sponsorship of competitions, is at the nexus of several of fastest growing areas online—including casual games and social gaming.  Comscore reports that online games are growing at ten times the rate of the total U.S. Internet population and reach nearly one out of every two Internet users, while NPD Group reports that the percentage of online gamers ages 13-17 increased from 17 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2009.  Marketer forecasts that advertising in online games will increase 133% from 2007 to 2012.

“Studies show when played in moderation, online games can offer many benefits–building self-esteem, fostering camaraderie, and developing motor and problem-solving skills,” said Tartaro.  “By adding purpose to the games, enhances the positive experience.”

About is an innovative platform offering middle- and high-school youths ages 13 and above a chance to compete for educational scholarships through no-fee online games.  Simple in concept and elaborate in reward, doesn’t limit scholarships to those with the usual special skills. Developed as a response to escalating educational costs,’s secure environment fosters a sense of pride, accomplishment and fun.  The site is the first in a planned series of sponsor-supported initiatives developed by Holmdel, NJ-based Internet Sport Games Associates.  For more information, please visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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