Embark.com Unveils Free College Tuition Promotion

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Embark.com, a site designed to help students find, apply to and get accepted at the educational program of their choice, is giving college-bound students the chance to "Win Your College Tuition."

Throughout the peak of the college application season -- Sept. 15 to Feb. 1 -- students will be able to enter at Embark.com to win four years of college tuition at the school of their choice. Lower tier prizes are expected to include a computer and other school accessories.

The goal is to build awareness and drive traffic to the site, said Sally Guzdar, director of consumer marketing at Embark.com, San Francisco. "Last year, the tuition promotion had more than 200,000 entries," she said. "That's our goal again." The site earns a fee from colleges each time a student applies online.

Embark.com is taking a targeted approach to promoting the contest by partnering with high school guidance counselors. It is sending out information via direct mail to guidance counselors at 6,000 schools. If a school registers 25 or more students, it is entered to win a technology grant from Embark.com. The grant will provide the winning school with new hardware for the guidance office.

The sweepstakes will be promoted on the site and through an e-mail message sent to the site's database of more than 1,000 registered users. Banner ads at select teen sites are also likely.

Embark.com is no stranger to sweepstakes, as it launched a pair of promotions earlier this year. Its Gear Up for College sweepstakes sent five first-prize winners to visit the college of their choice, along with an i-Zone camera to help them record the trip. They also received a Gateway computer with one year of Internet access and free online test preparation for the Scholastic Assessment Test and ACT exam.

Its Take a Class sweepstakes targeted adults interested in adult education. It gave away five first prizes of $1,000 for tuition as well as a Gateway computer with Internet access.

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