About This Site

Short Answer: My name is Josh Barsch, and I started this site to help students stop screwing up their scholarship applications and win more money. I’m a scholarship judge and I’ve been one for a long time, and “Judge Josh” is my attempt at a catchy moniker.

The site isn’t really just about scholarships anymore — students and their parents ask for my advice on a lot of topics related to college, finances, working, studying, financial aid, etc. I take those questions, post them on the site, answer them, and invite my readers to add their advice. And they do, trust me.

Long Answer (but still pretty short): I’m the CEO of StraightForward Media, a search engine advertising agency I founded in 2001. Our company has been awarding scholarships for a long time now. I’ve been a judge for those scholarships since we began the programs in 2003, and I’ve read thousands upon thousands of scholarship applications. And, I’m sorry to say, most of them are pretty bad.

For all of you who like putting a face to the name, there ya go.

A vast majority of students (I’m talking over 90%, at least) make stupid mistakes that disqualify their essays almost immediately. At first, it made me laugh (you know, in the “Man, these kids today…” sense), but soon enough it became a little depressing. I’d have a stack of scholarship essays that would take me hours to read, and it was exhausting to think that only a handful of them would be winner material.

To be honest, it also hacked me off at the educational system. Is there really no one out there teaching our high school students how to write an acceptable scholarship essay?

Apparently not. So I decided to do something about it. I wrote a short e-book on the subject, which was very helpful for the kids who bought it, but didn’t do much for the body of applicants as a whole. So I decided to put this website out there for everyone to use, for free. If you’d like to have all this information in a print book, you can buy it here if you want.

So look around as much as you like — the info is free and here for you to use. If you have questions or comments, just leave them as blog comments and I’ll answer them as soon as possible. Enjoy!

6 thoughts on “About This Site”

  1. Mr. Josh Barsch, thank you for posting all these relevant and helpful articles. I haven’t win any scholarships yet, but now I know why. I’ve read some articles that made me realize why. English is my 2nd language, so I guess thats one point less. Anyway, thanks again for caring about the future of US/Worl. Oh! you’re right about “what’s happening with teachers” from one of the articles statements.

  2. Hi Mr.Josh Barsch, I’m a senior student from China. I’ll be applying for American Universities this year, well, in the next few months to be more exact.

    The information provided here has been most helpful, and I’ve learnt tons of stuff that I hadn’t even thought about before. Still, I was wondering if there’s anything about international students, tips and skills that we ought’a know.

    So if there’s any, would you please post it so we could benefit from your experience and avoid making mistakes that’ll only screw up my chances for college.


    Pls, i want you to help me to secure admission to any one of the school in england through scholarship. pls help………GOD BLESS YOU.

  4. Tatiana Klesheva

    Hi Josh,

    I subscribed to your list and was reading some articles from your website. I find it is a useful source of information.
    I really need some advice on the situation I have now with my future life plan.
    I’m Russian originally and I was living in Costa Rica for the past 4 years of my life. I’m 31 yo now. Now I’m back to Russia and intend to apply for immigration to Canada program, as I want to live in Canada in the future. I have some decisions to take in some months and I need some professional/ or financial advice/ or the advice from someone who had been in the same situations.
    1.The immigration process takes from 1,5 to 4 years as I was told. ( I really hope for 2 years)
    2. I intend to get another Uni. education. I’m thinking either in Russia or in Costa Rica while I’m waiting for my immigration case to be proceeded. Costa Rica has 3 times less cost for educational programs in comparison to Moscow, Russia ( and no University in Moscow is accredited in USA as far as I know) and the Uni in CR, I’m looking at is accredited in USA.( as I was told by University of Costa Rica, admission assistant) I’m not rich , neither do I have parents to support me financially and I will have to work and pay for my education on my own in any case.
    I’m looking for a teaching program- ESL teacher ( + maybe translations programs) and I also consider economics. I like to teach though (and everybody is asking me recently to teach the language) and linguistics/translations/interpreting, but I really also might need the knowledge of economics for I’m hoping to develop my tourism idea with developing a tour agency of my own. I see that entering the Uni in Canada for now is not the option at least until the moment I’m a new comer there, as per financial reasons again.
    3. I’m not very happy with me being stuck in Russia up to 4 years ( don’t like the mentality and don’t feel I fit it anymore), however there is a challenge if I get back to CR as well, as per job market there and finances, and the chances of me finding the job in Moscow quite high. In Costa Rica with comparing to Moscow, on the other hand, I see much more opportunity to develop my own, tourism business, rather than working for smb. else being more financially stable in Moscow.
    So,to finalize everything, I’m in decision either to stay in Moscow or to get to Costa Rica again ( starting from March 2011) for the period of waiting for the immigration documents to get to Canada.I’m in the process of gathering all the documents now.
    The second question is, if anybody knows if linguistics-translations-interpreting ( I know Spanish, besides Russian of course, and just the very beginner of French) or ESL teaching will help me to find a job in the future in Canada.
    Is the tourism idea good enough to have a success in Canada ( plan for Canadians/US people to travel to Latin America, maybe in Russia too) I have started the company in CR already.
    Finally, if there is a chance of getting any scholarship from Canadian Universities, if I’m an International student,or if, hopefully, I will land in some years in Canada.
    Thank you in advance for any assistance or any advice from anybody.
    Best Wishes,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top