The $150,000 Scholarships That Aren’t on Fastweb

First of all: Bookmark this page! You’ll want to re-read it many times in the near future.

And since you opened it, I’m going to assume that you’re at least a tiny bit interested in a scholarship that would pay you $150,000.

After all, it’s not like you haven’t thought about this topic before. If you’re like most people, you’ve watched contestants on TV game shows like “Deal or No Deal” or “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and yelled at them to “Stop!” and “Take the money, you fool!” once they get up into that $150,000 range — sometimes even before that. We’ve all done this, because we know that $150,000 is life-changing money.

Brains and discipline can get you as much money as this man is pretending to have right now.

So why haven’t you applied for any of the $150,000 scholarships out there? Probably because you didn’t know they were there. So is there really a scholarship that’ll pay you $150,000? Of course. In fact, there isn’t just one, but hundreds of them. Thousands, even. But if you’re one of those game-show people who thinks $150,000 isn’t worth your trouble, then go ahead and close up this email and read no further.

Great, you’re still here. You won’t find these awards by Googling “$150,000 scholarship” or anything like that. Your path to $150,000 actually just starts with a more modest $5,000 in scholarship money. Let’s start with this example, shall we? It can be several scholarships adding up to $5,000, or one big $5,000 scholarship. That’s bigger than the average scholarship, probably, but there are thousands of scholarships out there that pay at least that much. This $5,000 is not a crazy, unattainable amount of scholarship money we’re talking about.

How does $5,000 in scholarship money end up paying you more than $150,000? It’s pretty simple, actually. I can explain it in two minutes, tops:

A $5,000 student loan, taken at 6.8 percent, will stick you with a monthly payment of $57.80, every month for 10 years. At the end of that 10-year period, your debt to the government is paid, and you’re done. No more loan payments after that. Now even if you get yourself a really low-paying job after college (I’m thinking schoolteacher, journalist, assistant manager at Wendy’s, etc.), that’s probably something you can easily handle, right? Right.

$5,000 in scholarship money is $5,000 you don’t have to take in student loans, right? Right. But we just established that you could handle that $57 payment every month, regardless of whether you owe it to the government or not. So let’s just say that you’re going to make that $57 payment every month anyway. But you’re not going to send the check to the government — you’re going to pay yourself. You’re going to send that measly $57 per month to your own savings or investment account. And just like before, you’re going to stop after 10 years, and never write another $57 check as long as you live. (If you want help or a recommendation on setting up this account, please just reply to this email with “advice” in the subject line.)

Fast forward to 10 years down the road from now, and we’ve got two scenarios here. In the “I got zero scholarships so I had to take the $5,000 student loan” scenario, you’ve paid your $57 per month and now you’re off the hook. You owe the government nothing…but you also have nothing to show for that $57 you paid out each month. However, in the “I got $5,000 in scholarships but decided to pay-my-damn-self the $57 each month anyway” scenario, your monthly payments have accumulated to $10,802.90 (assuming a standard yet conservative 8% return).

Not a bad start, for sure. I think we can agree that it’s better to have $10,000 than to have nothing. And by the way, my assumption here is that you graduated from college at age 25, and that you’re now 35 in this scenario, 10 years down the road.

But that’s only $10,000, not $150,000. Where does the rest come from?

Easy: it comes from compounded interest over time. Like I said in the beginning, you’re not going to contribute another dime. You’re going to forget the money is even there. And then, compound interest kicks in. Over the next 30 years, assuming that same conservative 8% return on your money, your $10,802 grows to $108,705. If you wait 35 years, it grows to $159,724.


And why do you have this sweet little nest egg waiting for you? Because you snagged a relatively small $5,000 in scholarship money. And instead of having to pay the government, you paid yourself. It’s that easy.

You were skeptical as you were reading this, I know. After all, if it was that easy to turn $5,000 into $150,000, then surely more people would do it. But they don’t, and the reason they don’t is because no one ever teaches them how. *But that’s what I’ve started to do over these last 12 emails — I’m starting to teach you how!* And all you’ve got to do is let me finish.

Over the last 12 days, I’ve started to show you how you can win the scholarships that mean the difference between being broke and having $150,000 in your bank account.

If you and your family would like the full story on how to win scholarships that can change your life forever — I ask you to consider buying my book called “Confessions Of A Scholarship Judge” on Amazon. It’s free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber; if not, it’s $4.99 for the digital version, $9.99 for the paper copy and $19.95 for the audiobook on Audible.

C’mon — would anyone in your own FAMILY send you updates full of good advice for your ENTIRE LIFE for just 10 bucks? If so, you have a much less screwed-up family than I have.

Start getting all the scholarships you deserve. Many of your colleagues are doing the same thing, so don’t blow it off and let them end up kicking your butt in every scholarship competition you enter from now on.

Thanks for letting me plug my book, and if you buy it, I hope you enjoy it!

53 thoughts on “The $150,000 Scholarships That Aren’t on Fastweb”

  1. Dawn Henderson

    Mr. Barsch,

    Wow. I just purchased the e-version of your book to start reading tomorrow. Well, no dice. As the copy sat in my “Financial Aid” file on my desktop, I swear it was calling me to start digging in NOW. I submitted an essay earlier today without having had any knowledge of your information and feel now like I hope it ends up in some horrible postal accident. How exciting, though, to be at the beginning of my education and my hunt for any additional funding. At least I’ve only screwed up a few times!
    Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into publishing this book. I have already learned so much and feel more confident about submitting future essays!

    ~Dawn H.

  2. Ollmsted: You’re right…keep reading! 🙂

    Dawn: You’re welcome, and thank you for the kind words! I hope the book helps you bring in a lot of scholarship money!


    Dear Josh,
    Thanks for all your services to the American young people.I subscribed to this scholarship media over a year ago and initially participated in applying for the scholarship.No information was given to me whether i failed or not.Subsequently,i lost morale for this whole thing but has started pursuing it again.

    To be quite clear,am not American neither am i a student in the USA but thought this scholarship could as well help competent students from other countries of the world like Uganda where i am right now at Makerere University pursuing a bachelors in Economics.I wish to read your reply sir.Many thanks.

  4. HI JUDGE,

    YOURS ,

  5. This is exactly what my mom has been trying to tell me since I was thirteen. I think I was listening while I was rebelling against her, but only I know the truth to that 😀 One rule I live by is don’t tell the judge unless you know he knows….right? Unless- (brace yourself for the exception) you can TRUST the judge. I’m so scared to trust ANYONE everytime i get a pop up about loans that I’m jumping down my HOPE scholarship advisor’s throat because he is the ONLY person doing HIS job. A job that truely, honestly….requires at least fifty people since I, yes I said it, (ME)- the “party girl” waited till the END of MY summer to make sure MY scholarship was WHERE it Was supposed to be. NOone to blame, but myself. Sometimes responsibility, love, and trust cures money problems. And sometimes hobbies, school, work, or volunteering (I don’t know if I spelt that right) cures stress. So do what you enjoy….just be PREPARED to deal with your choices:) With choices, comes consequences. Peace.

  6. Dear Josh, thank you for all your help throughout the years. Just wanted to let you know I finally graduated from Community college and am now at a four-year. I’m pursuing my Bachelors and Masters degrees and possibly my law degree. I was wondering if there were scholarships that could help me get to that level or any advice you could lend. Thanks again and looking forward to hearing from you.

  7. Well, this is a good plan. Now, what do you have for a 53 yr old stage II breast cancer student, in an accelerated BA program (that’s the doing 4 yrs of work in 18 months, and no, it’s not online, it’s for real, in a real classroom with a real teacher and real books. Oh, yeah, and costing me real bucks. When I finish this (you got that whole “breast cancer” and “53 yrs old” thing, right?) I’m going for a master’s. Tips?

  8. Hello Josh,

    So I must admit, nothing caught my attention more than your recent email. I have never got a scholarship in my life.. yet many people who are less qualified than me have gotten them. I’m not a bad student at all. I would just apply in all the wrong places. So I think I’m going to give your book a whirl. That, and start believing in myself 😛


  9. As I read the topic I was just wondering the $150,000.00 is ready for application and end up to be another kind of story. I really disappointed. Anyway I would thank you Josh for your kind advice and apprecaite your hard for the past twelve days.

    I agree with your idea because when I first considered to buy a house my wife and I was trying to save money before doing so. However we noticed that the price went up faster then saving. At last we started to purchase one by morgage. We end up to have that paid within ten years. Then we change that with a bigger one with the money from selling the old house as down payment and we end up to pay the new one in only five years. So your idea is truly correct. Well done Josh.

  10. “Conservative” 8%? Forget about the scholarship, tell me where I can get an 8% return on my money! In these times, I would think 8% is quite dreamy and who knows where the economy is headed? We can assume that things will get better, but I don’t think such a return will even average out to an 8% annual return over 30 years. This article would have more validity if the calculated return was based on a factual figure.

  11. Sir, do everything possible to help me find financial assistance to study the Master of Divinity program in British Columbia in Canada. There is a seminary there that admitted me the in Fall 2007, but I couldn’t secure funds for the program.
    Thank you.

  12. I hold a MA Education and development of Uganda Martyrs University and all along I have been with a dream of Pursing EdD in Education for sustainable development and mitigating the effects of climate change.
    I hopeful that your are going to be a conduit for my success. To enable get scholarship to support me in my education endeavours.

    Thank you.
    Kiiza Mark

  13. I’ve appreciated most of your scholarship insight throughout the past few weeks. When it’s time for me to apply for scholarships, I will definitely keep many of your tips in mind. However, I take issue with some of your ideologies and don’t think that they should be shared with the next generation of scholars without some questioning.

    In your Screwup #4 email you tell students that pursuing careers solely for their high-paying salaries is acceptable and that submitting well-written but fabricated dreams for the future on scholarship applications is the way to achieve their superficial goals. Lying is never the answer. I believe that students with this kind of mindset would be better advised to really think about the problems of this world and to revise their goals for the future so that they are aligned with the solutions to these problems. We need to aim for selfless brilliance, not the shiny Benz – for a kind of simple living that will redistribute our excesses to the impoverished, not the summer homes.

    Also, I take offense to how on this page you identify the careers of schoolteachers and journalists as low-paying, lumping them both in with an assistant manager position at a fast food restaurant. Both professions, if done with love and truth, can be incredibly rewarding – both morally AND financially. One profession is responsible for the objective shaping of future generations, the other is responsible for the objective delivery of information to everyone. It’s a shame that these professions are so often undervalued.

    It appears that I am stubbornly disregarding your tips in your Screwup #8 email, and I am aware that this might get me nowhere in terms of winning scholarships. But you know what? I really don’t care. I’m glad I’m mature enough to realize what brings true happiness in life – not money, not material wealth, but a careful commitment to creating a healthier, more just and equal world. I may have to pay student loans until I’m 80 because of it, but if that’s what it will take for me to avoid becoming a selfish, corrupt individual, then so be it.

    Good luck with your book sales.

  14. Yea, 8% is a stretch. Most CD’s today are under 1%. 150,000 using this method is impossible unless interest rates go back up to the rates they were 20-30 years ago when they were 10+ and that won’t happen. The only thing you could pull an 8% return on is the stock market and then you are putting in a lot more work and risk then you would have if you just took the loan. If 57% is so affordable, no reason why $114 shouldn’t be and you can do the same thing. You would have your same ~$7000 (with no interest) after 10 years and then you could go for your unattainable 8% interest.

    The best thing to do this day in age is scratch off lottery tickets. If you buy 52 over a year, you’ve only spent $52 (for most) and your chances of 100% return are extremely high and the chances of getting even 400 or 500% of that is even better. Take that instant cash and deposit in the account. There is just no way in this day of credit and debt that you would never touch that money. Car breaks down, and you have $10,000 just sitting there, you are going to cash it out and go buy a new car. You are 35 and buy a new house, that $10,000 helps on a down payment. There are very few of us capable of saving money in the instant gratification world we live in.

  15. I agree with Anonymous, my online savings account gets me 1.4% interest. Where in the world do you suggest we put our money to collect 8%?

  16. I am the one that is skeptical. as always some are good, honest deals and some are scams. Can you be sure your money is safe? Or do you set yourself up for a scam that reels you in and takes advantage of your inexperience in this matter? Believe me I do wnat to get more money to retire. My low paying job will not get me a decent retirement at all so I do need more but at what risk? Plesae send more info. Gregg Jones

  17. getting to education wanting and position wnating is something every people has in the dreaming.And of course, it is more beatiful after one gets a great scholarship even if one even need it.
    I think it is very important for the educating life, the money which will be given as scholarship.
    if though I had to get to have a scholarship or a loan in my country.

  18. Anonny Nonny Moose Moose

    I like how everything that is supposed to save me money, or show me how to get money ends up asking me for money. If i had it, i sure wouldn’t be looking up scholarships.

    This last email didn’t even involve an actual scholarship, just a reference to the ambiguous scholarship i will suddenly win despite having gotten nothing out of years of scholarship applications.

    I have written, re-written, had outside critiques and re-written for years with no result. So how i’m going to get a mythical 8% return on a mythical $5,000 is a little beyond your explanation.

  19. Yikes! Been on vacation with the family for a few days and it seems like forever since I’ve responded.

    Richard: It’s great to hear from you! Congrats on the graduation!

    Kevin and Anonymous: I should disclaim that I’m not a financial adviser per se, but I disagree with the premise that 8% is an outlandish number to use. That’s a standard number used by many financial planners when assuming a lifetime annualized return on investments. Of course — it doesn’t always work out that way, and neither I nor anyone else could promise you it will. However, I would posit that it’s actually a heck of a lot easier to earn an annualized return of 8% *now*, after the incredible crash of the US and world markets last year, than it would’ve been otherwise. Presumably anyway, any buying in now will be done at a historic low, which is a great place to buy. Compare this to my son’s college fund, which was funded in a lump sum when he was born in 2006. Suffice it to say, he’s in a loss position right now. 🙂 I also assume that Kevin is kidding about the lottery tickets. Do not buy lottery tickets for anything other than occasional fun — they’re a poor investment in anything other than that, obviously.

    Brad: You’re correct — you are a perfect example of a preachy student whose essay would be tossed out almost immediately on those grounds. However, you seem to be OK with that, and if you’re OK with it, then that’s all that matters. Remember, these tips aim simply to inform applicants of what happens on the judging committees and to allow you to alter your approach to help yourself win more money. If you feel better ignoring the advice, then by all means, ignore it.

    I’ve actually been a teacher and a journalist and a fast-food manager, and all can be rewarding. All are also very low-paying (sorry if the truth strums you the wrong way, but that’s a fact). I might be offended at your comments if I were a fast-food manager, though, and the implication that being a fast-food manager *cannot* be morally and financially rewarding? I’m guessing you’re the type of guy who would call, say, running a homeless shelter and feeding hungry people (and being paid a pittance by a government or nonprofit) a very noble profession. But being paid the same pittance by McDonald’s to feed many times more working-poor and working-class families is somehow soulless and unfulfilling?

    Tiffany: Well thanks, I’m glad to hear it. 🙂 If you click the book cover on the right side of any page on the site, you’ll be taken to the site where you can buy it. The downloadable version is much cheaper, if you’re interested — only $9.99, and you receive it instantly.

    Thanks everyone! Keep the comment coming!

  20. Hello there Josh,

    I really need some advice on where I, a white 45 year old Caucasian woman going to school to be a nurse can get a scholarship. I was successful in getting one $500.00 scholarship in April of this year, which has been a huge help in purchasing books, etc. I do find, however, that there are a LOT of people who put in for scholarships that don’t need it, i.e., have mommy and daddy paying for college, and the people that really do need the money suffer. OR, there are really rich kids playing “the financial hardship game” when they don’t really need it. How does the committee know when there is a real hardship? In my case, I submitted 3 essays, 2 letters of recommendations from 2 professors in a very well organized packet and was awarded the scholarship. Yes, it was financially based, but there were 4 other people who won from the same organization. So, my question is once again……… do you know if people are really in financial distress, and how does the committee verify that. I think there are too many spoiled brats out there taking the money. I’m trying so hard to be an RN, and get assistance, and because I’m not a minority (I’m white), it’s impossible to get a student loan, and I’m 45!!! It’s crazy. Have any suggestions for women my age? I’m more like a 25 year old, though! LOL! (P.S. You do a great job here, and I will take your advice on the scholarship essay advice, although I think I do a pretty good job at my essays).


    To me it sounds very difficulty to comment anything out of this great scholarship you are about to offer because almost everything looks like dreams,things that are emaginally,please until i get it,i will have lots to comment.Thanks!!.

  22. Well, that was a nice run of emails, but as I tried to read each one with a smile, hahaha, I ended up doing just that. I’ve got to say,. you’re wry and direct approach to this stuff has been unforgettable and hilarious, in a good way. There’s nothing like good advice for the not so proud individual.

    Thanks a million Josh, I surely will have a nice root around to get your book, when I scrape some money together that is, hahaha. But thank you honestly, I read each one immediately after getting it, I only hope that these tips and my own personal drive get me into Princeton or some other Ivy League college soon enough, because lord knows, I can’t afford to pay for them without scholarships at all.

    Maybe when I become a Professor finally I’ll find you and thank you. Here’s hoping anyway.

    Thanks a million,


  23. I need an schoolarship right now for, not in 30 years!!!!!! and savings accounts that pay 8%?????? C’MON, online savings accounts give no more than 2 or 4 %

  24. Hey whats-up?

    I have seen my young brother Beatus B Maganja trying to get this schoolarship which seems to be uncertain, please be sure of what you’re about.
    Course people do get exited with your news but at the end of the day they find themselves happy for nothing. Help us by telling the truth otherwise you’ll be just making fun of internet!!!!

  25. Sir, I need a scholarship that that can support my program at AIU ( Atlantic International University) at Honolulu, Hawaii (HI) please help me, i have search and tired
    Thank you


  26. Pierre Yakanza Gouasi

    Ear Judges

    It is in my best interest to contnue readng about scholarship essays,as long as I am in deed to obtain some fund to me complete my MA in theology .Although I am not in the United States of American,but somewhere far remote in the Central African Republic,yet, I do believe that judges do pass verdict in favour of those outside the USA when they qualify for the award.

    Many thanks

    Yours brother in the Lord Jesus Christ

    Pierre Yakanza Gouasi.

  27. I am the mother of a college bound student you provided with this information. I am having a hard time getting her to apply for the scholarships. Her sister is 31 and still repaying student loans and she feels Sissy knows the right way to proceed because she is financially secure in her career.
    I’m so thankful you sent this so she can see that although the loans are there, the scholarships are much more beneficial for her. I wish I’d been financially able to save that small amount from her date of birth, even at half the interest rate you suggest, It would definitely make the entrance into the first year of community college for her so must less stressful for ME. God willing she’ll apply for them before the time comes she’ll need them for the University she plans to attend. As for those who feel what you say is nothing more than a dream….without dreams how far would any of us go. Many Thanks.

  28. Hello Judge
    Thank for your your help, and all the scholarship screw up that has been sending to me.
    I must confess i found a lot of important tips that will help one in scholarship essay writing.
    Hoping to be one of the beneficiarys of this scholarship team
    God bless you, and more grease to your elbow.

    1. IRAGUHA BANDORA YVES 250788794747.
      As a citizen of RWANDA I am seeking for sponsorship for my studies in the USA.ILLINOIS ISTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY this FALL2011, in the Undergraduate program,MOLECURAL BIODHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS.
      I am really unble to pay my studies,but I hope that with you I can study,and build a better future for me and my family let alone my country RWANDA.
      Hoping to hear from you soon.
      Sincerely yours,IRAGUHA BANDORA Yves.

  29. Mirissa Melnick

    Thanks for the great info, I have read your emails several times and will use this knowledge in my future quests for scholarships,


  31. Hey……. great info to be able to know how long and how much to loans and etc is awesome beyond comparision

  32. diana kouotho

    i think i undesrtand what you wanted to teach me, a piece of advice, the methods, how to do to win. but between me and you , i don t want to be insolent sometnhig like that
    it was my mind and i m sick and tired with people or organiations who try to sell to some students a dream.
    you can win this or that but nothing happen, nevertheless we believe , we think maybe one day it s going to be real. so we do it and try other possibilities to not to be desapointed.
    it was 2 years ago that i try to have a scholarship, i ask to my high school, the ambassy of france and canada, some organisations. Nothing happen. thus, i do something else( work, save money) in order to preparemy departure but is not enough.I m just tired , i take it easy. everybody have to
    it’s just a chance and judges’heart.
    however im not call your advice in questions; its help, a lot.
    my last words 🙂

  33. first ten years of my life -after my education- should be used for paying dept great. later in life when i’m accomplished with a great family what is the worth of a so called 150k. you never know i may be a millionaire by then.

  34. hello josh!!!
    it’s been a while. by the way i am happy to take the opportunity to have that big money. For me to sustain my education and to support my daily needs. it is a big help for my studies, for me to focus on school. Right now, my taking MECHANICAL ENGINEERING as a junior. And i am hoping to bee grant of that scholarship.



  35. 8% interest? right now my money market account gives me 0.3% interest and my old savings accounts was 0.2%, let me know where these magical 8% accounts are and i’ll gladly create one of those instead.

  36. 8% interest? right now my money market account gives me 0.3% interest and my old savings accounts was 0.2%, let me know where these magical 8% accounts are and i’ll gladly create one of those instead.

  37. Charlotte Hyatt

    This disappointed me Judge:(. I was hoping there was areal scholarship like that.

    I have not won any scholarships and at 50+ with a year to go to get my Bachelors, I don’t see 30-35 years for $57 a month to add up. It may be 10 years before we see an 8% interest rate anyway.

  38. Hi Mr Josh. Where can i start from inorder for me to gain the $5000 scholarship…… I do love you advise you have been given to me and the other colleagues… Thank you very much for it….

  39. Thank you for your information.I am from Ethiopia and I would like to pursue masters programme to realize my dream but I haven’t been got any chance

  40. hi judge josh
    I would very much like to buy the two books but at the moment i can not afford since I do not have a job I just completed my highschool education here in kenya last year and here in kenya to get a job without a course is very hard and that is the reason why i applied for a scholaship to make ends meet i would appreciate very much if i become one of winners among many.
    but some day I will buy your two wonderful books

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