Why Wasn’t This Site Around Before Now?

Good question.

It was only a few short years ago that I made the decision to do all of my company’s philanthropy through scholarship programs for students around the world. Since then, my team has received hundreds of thousands of scholarship essays from students from every corner of the globe. And I do mean every corner: I’m no slouch at geography, and I’ve learned the whereabouts of at least a dozen new countries since beginning our programs thanks to our students’ applications.

It’s been an extremely rewarding experience and an eye-opener in many respects. We’ve been able to peek into the lives of thousands of tomorrow’s leaders (and many, many more of tomorrow’s followers, to be perfectly honest) from all over the world. But this book addresses something else we’ve seen: the fact that most students make a lot of easily avoidable mistakes when they write their scholarship essays – mistakes that end up costing them many thousands of dollars in scholarship money. This book covers all of the errors we could fit into a book, making it the most comprehensive and valuable collection of insider information on the subject that you can find.

That may sound like a grand claim, and at first, I had no intention of making it. Scholarships are as old as education itself, so I always assumed that someone had documented these errors in a book long ago, and that most of our applicants simply weren’t reading that book. But I was strolling through a Borders one day and happened by the education/reference section (or whatever they’re calling it these days – it’s the section packed with test-prep books fatter than the Chicago yellow pages, be they for the SAT or the MCAT or the test to become a prison guard), and I found nothing of the sort. Sure, there are a couple of books out there (Peterson’s, etc.) that list a couple thousand scholarships that you can apply for, but nothing that tells you how to win them.

That, to me, was amazing. Billions of dollars are available in scholarship money and thousands of people sit on scholarship committees, and not one has stepped up to talk about the abundance of serious mistakes kids are making when they apply? Mistakes, mind you, that end up leaving them tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt because there’s no other way to pay for their college tuition.

But this book changes all that. It discusses the tiniest details over which scholarship committees obsess when they’re deciding which students’ dreams of a full-ride scholarship are going to come true, and which are just going to have to max out their student loans or work an extra year at McDonald’s before they can even consider college.

8 thoughts on “Why Wasn’t This Site Around Before Now?”

  1. Aloha,

    I’m just writing to thank you for putting this up, because it has been probably the most helpful piece of literature on writing essays that I’ve had the pleasure to read. I’m not bashing the textbooks my teachers assign or anything, but hey, they aren’t the most compelling thing to read. Definitely more helpful than my Harbrace has been (and it has been pretty helpful…kinda).
    I go to Father Ryan high school in Nashville, Tennessee, and I’ve told the college guidance counselors about this site so that it can hopefully help more students like me in finding scholarships. What you’re doing here is a personal service of the highest caliber, and I can only thank you for how much it has helped me.
    I wish you luck and fortune in any and all things you undertake in the near and far future.

    Just one more time, Thank You.

    David Adam Kaauwai

  2. Hello Mr. Barsch,

    I can only say thank you. As a senior who is currently going through the grueling process of applying for scholarships, I found your website to be extremely informative and helpful. I just finished reading everything through and I feel much more confidant and ready to tackle the essays and applications.
    This entire process has been hard. Most of the applications have been either vague or very demanding with very few in between. With the majority lacking guidelines as to what judges are looking for I have felt a bit like a frog in a huge desert. Your book really showed me what I needed to do to bring my essay to the top of The Stack. As a slightly more reserved person when it comes to talking about my talents, I learned that I have to be much more outgoing about my skills.
    Please know that your (I’m sure extensive) effort put into this book was not wasted. I hope many students, who are going through the same rigours I am, read this. It was a huge help and will certainly make a difference in my essays and applications.

    Thank you again,
    Lillie T.

  3. Lillie,

    You are very welcome, and I hope it serves you well. By all means, ramp it up and tell the world how good you are. Come back and comment/write anytime!


  4. David,

    You’re very welcome also, and thank you very much for your kind words. I hope you’ll be able to get an advantage by following what you find here, and I would love to hear from you anytime.


  5. Mr Barsch,

    Thank you for your informative and entertaining book. It is by far the best manual for winning scholarships that I have come across. Not only is it practical and engaging but it also “drives home the idea”.

    Thank you so much!

  6. Brynlie Fergusen

    Mr. Barsch,

    I cannot tell you enough how beneficial this website was to me. Feeling a bit like a fish out of water when it came to applying for scholarships, I was so grateful to discover this site with such great advice and tips. Thank you for informing me of all the little mistakes other applicants make and for opening my eyes to what the judges are looking for. It definitely helped me more than you can imagine and has given me more confidence in filling out future scholarships. Thanks again!


  7. My dear god! I wasn’t even planning on reading this whole thing in one sitting(no offense), but the way it was written just forced me to. The information given is without a doubt very valuable, but the way in which it is given is truly priceless. Thanks.

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