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Confessions of a Scholarship Winner: The Secrets That Helped Me Win $500,000 in Free Money for College. How You Can Too.

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  162 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Kristina Ellis was awarded a full scholarship through her PhD. How she managed to get that kind of a scholarship offer is revealed in this book. Raised by a single mother, Kristina appeared to have everything stacked against her – years of living below the poverty level, imperfect grades and sub-par SAT scores. Yet Kristina discovered the secrets to effectively presenting ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Worthy Publishing (first published January 1st 2013)
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Apr 30, 2013 Yodamom rated it it was amazing
This author managed to get her PHD all through scholarships. This is a book written by somebody that actually did it, which is why I wanted to read it. I have struggled through many scholarship guides and found them basically the same. This one had much new information to share. How to deal with less than perfect grades and poor testing skills in applying. I have two college age children and found this guide book to be one of the most effective on the shelf. Not only was it very helpful but it w ...more
Apr 14, 2013 Natalie rated it it was amazing
As a public school teacher and a volunteer tutor for a GED program, I was ecstatic to discover Kristina Ellis's book, and it is now my go-to resource for students and parents I talk to who are preparing for college. I've already given one away, and I'll be ordering more so that I always have a copy available to pass along!

Ms. Ellis's writing is personal and heartfelt as she shares her own story of struggle and success. In my classroom, I too often see students who think that dreams and success a
Mar 28, 2013 Nicole rated it really liked it
I don’t think you can read this book without feeling inspired. It’s targeted towards high school students, but there is a message of hope that will likely resonant with many parents. The advice is simple and practical. Best of all, the advice is not just for the perfect student. As the author points out, she had imperfect grades and average SAT scores.

It should be noted that the book focuses less on finding scholarships, and more on what to do to become a strong scholarship applicant.

I would re
Apr 25, 2013 Tabetha rated it it was amazing
Being a current graduating senior, this is the type of boom I wish came out a year ago. Kristina Ellis is a phenomenal story teller and mentor in all things SCHOLARSHIPS. I have learned to much from reading this book and would highly recommend it to any and all people who are considering college/in college and want to be relieved of the burden of paying for college. This book was fantastic.
Aug 01, 2015 Jordan rated it really liked it
3.5/5 stars
I think this book is very helpful... For a freshman in high school. I am a senior and often this book made me feel like it was too late for me. Still, there were some very helpful tips and tricks that I will definitely be looking back to during the scholarship process.

Kristina Ellis did go over her backstory of when she was a young girl, and it was rough. Hearing her struggles and how she overcame them was truly inspiring. I would give this section of the book 5 stars.

Than she went on
Jul 10, 2013 Kayla rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! I thought it was well written and thought out. Kristina Ellis shared her own experiences of applying and interviewing for college scholarships. She has a lot of good advice and ideas. Well worth the read!
Stephanie Sheaffer
May 25, 2015 Stephanie Sheaffer rated it really liked it
If you are a high school student, this is a timely read that could change the direction of your future. Kristine Ellis is a pro when it comes to putting together a compelling scholarship application.

Like Kristine, I won thousands of scholarship dollars - covering my tuition and room & board in full for my entire undergraduate degree and most of my graduate degree. My alma mater even cut me a check each semester for food and living expenses!

I later went on to become a high school guidance c
Missy Kee
Aug 27, 2013 Missy Kee rated it it was amazing
I have a freshman and a 7th grader. Great insight and motivating. Making my freshman start it tonight!
Jun 16, 2013 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Should have read it 3 years ago, I gifted it to's never to late!!!
Jul 27, 2013 Kathrynn rated it it was amazing
Good tips and advice! Nicely put together.
Sep 07, 2015 Ilib4kids rated it did not like it
378.34 ELL
My review: it is not surprising that applying for scholarship is the exact similar process applying for college. (author web site, for sample resume)
p177 You have to be motivated, driven, and ready to succeed.
p39 4 qualities lay the foundation for scholarship: fearless, drive, discipline, following direction(means procedures or rules former successor used)

I. Determining your need: p41-56
1. Student: fill out FAFSA (Free application for Federal Student Aid
David Sams
Mar 27, 2013 David Sams rated it it was amazing
I have two daughters, ages 14 (almost) and 16. Wow, am I glad this book came into our lives--with not a second to spare! It will save us thousands and thousands of education dollars, all for the cost of a Starbucks coffee and a breakfast sandwich.

What I like about CONFESSIONS OF A SCHOLARSHIP WINNER is that the author LIVED IT. Her story is amazing. This makes this book very personal, very real. If you're looking for a book containing a list of thousands of scholarships--this is not it! Besides,
May 30, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it
As the parent of three, one a graduating high school senior, one about to be a high school junior, and one soon to be a freshman, I had a particular, and obvious, interest in this book.

Overall, I was impressed with this book. It is definitely valuable and should be a ‘must read’ to the high school student looking to get a college education. All students…unless already offered a free ride by a university… should be able to take advantage of the advice offered here and get some (or all) of the sch
May 10, 2016 Librolover98 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I should start this review with a disclaimer saying that I've read a lot of college prep books, so I knew going in that this book was probably not going to reveal any earth-shattering information for me.

Anyway, I liked it nevertheless. This book is clearly aimed at high school students who might not have a way of paying for college, much like the author herself. Ellis offers basic knowledge about how the college and scholarship admissions process works, interjecting this otherwise dry and intim
Jan 01, 2016 Joei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book

I rated this book 5 stars because she explained every aspect of it. It's about selling yourself to the max and never giving up. Make sure everything is on point. I recommend this book to students who are paying money for college out of pocket and cannot get financial aid. This is another stepping stone for them.
(Jen) The Artist Librarian
Part memoir, part college scholarship handbook! Writing is conversational and accessible, integrating both personal stories and examples into "the info" you need to prepare for and apply to scholarships. Seems to be aimed at high school students and teens, but a lot of her advice would translate to older students as well.
Sharon Chisholm
Apr 17, 2013 Sharon Chisholm rated it it was amazing
What a great book! It is targeted for high school students, especially ninth graders who can put the recommendations to use during their high school years to build a strong basis for scholarship applications by what they have done during their four years. We have already bought copies for the schools in our county.
However, the story of Kristina Ellis' own journey is captivating and inspiring for any age.
The information for pursuing scholarship is clear and organized with summary notes at the en
Dec 28, 2015 Lynn rated it really liked it
As stated by so many others, this book is perfect for the beginning freshman all the way to current college students. A truly valuable resource that actually tells you specifically where to go, what to do, etc. This one is definitely on the MUST read list for my children.
Sep 04, 2015 Cierra rated it it was amazing
Im extremely pleased that I found this book. I learned a lot of things that I never realized would go into applying for scholarships. The chapters were well written and easy to understand; the summary points and action steps at the end of each chapter helped keep all the important info in one place. Hopefully ill be able to win some scholarships to help pay for college.
Apr 25, 2015 Holly rated it really liked it
This is a great book to use as a starting point for someone on the road to college. It simplifies the varying aspects and gives pointers on how to succeed in the pursuit.
Jan 07, 2016 Mk rated it really liked it
It is a great book for high school students who hesitate about scholarships. Informative, insightful and candid.
Nicole Bilbao
Dec 28, 2015 Nicole Bilbao rated it really liked it
Written for students, not as much for parents. Still a good bit of information.
Katie Dunphy
Apr 21, 2014 Katie Dunphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really inspirational! I loved hearing about Kristina's struggle to overcome adversity. I found most of her advice about getting scholarships useful, but I wish she'd provided more information on the likelihood of getting said scholarships. If one pours three hours of time into a single application, and then is one of a hundred students applying for the scholarship, the chance of winning is only 1%, with an "entry fee" of three hours. I have no doubt that the scholarship route was t ...more
Michelle Connell
Apr 13, 2015 Michelle Connell rated it really liked it
Lots of helpful tips on finding/filling out scholarships.
Gwendolyn G
Jun 10, 2014 Gwendolyn G rated it it was amazing
It had very good advice.
Dec 07, 2013 Vandry rated it really liked it
Well organized common sense (even though common sense isn't common practice)

No mind-blowing tactics here but steps every teenager should follow not just in the application process but the admissions and job application process as well. Many of these tips even apply to business owners seeking grants and funding.

Very well put together and inspiring.

Must read for 9th-12th graders, optimally in 9th-10th grade.
Mone J.
This book is for anybody who need tips for winning a college scholarship
Jun 09, 2013 Kendall rated it liked it
Not bad. A lot of the material was directed toward high school students which makes sense. I liked her bullet points at the end of each chapter. She makes some good points about how to handle the application process, but I finished it thinking that I hadn't really learned anything new. It certainly doesn't hurt to refresh your memory.
Jan 25, 2014 McKayla rated it really liked it
Because this is a book on how to win scholarships, it would be unfair to review it based on the entertainment factor although it did have some nice personal stories. As far as advice goes, this book did its job.
May 12, 2013 Aimee rated it really liked it
I gained a lot of information that will help me pursue more scholarship opportunities to use towards grad school.
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