Cover image for How to go to college almost for free : the secrets of winning scholarship money
How to go to college almost for free : the secrets of winning scholarship money
Kaplan, Benjamin R.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperResource, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvi, 373 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
"The game" -- Let the games begin -- pt. 1. How the game is played -- ch. 1. The big, bad world of financial aid -- ch. 2. Rules of the merit money game -- ch. 3. What parents can do to help -- pt. 2. Getting ready to play -- ch. 4. Finding your own pot of gold -- pt. 3. Strategies that give you the edge -- ch. 5. Painting your own portrait -- ch. 6. Positioning strategies -- ch. 7. Content strategies -- pt. 4. When the whistle blows -- ch. 8. A winning game plan -- ch. 9. Essay excellence -- ch. 10. Glowing recommendation letters -- ch. 11. Filling in the blanks -- ch. 12. Acing the interview -- pt. 5. When the buzzer sounds -- ch. 13. Parting shots -- appendix A. Scholarship coach search profile worksheet -- appendix B. State agency contacts -- appendix C. keyword master list -- Index.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB2337.4 .K37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Make your educational dreams come true!

Worried about how to pay for college? Afraid of drowning in a sea of student debt? Sure, Ben Kaplan once felt that way too. But that was before he discovered that there are billions of scholarship dollars out there for students with all types of interests, skills, and backgrounds. After winning enough college cash to cover virtually the entire cost of his dream school, he's written an indispensable guide that shows you how to stake your own scholarship claim.

Now in this fully revised and updated edition, Ben distills his proven step-by-step game plan that positions you to win big money for college -- regardless of your age, GPA, financial situation, or family background. With humor and insight, he reveals insider secrets for successfully finding, applying for, and winning lucrative scholarship awards -- empowering you with the information, inspiration, and know-how to afford the college of your choice and realize your educational dreams.

Special Note: As a valued reader of this book, you also receive access to the Coach's Locker Room at Ben Kaplan's website. The Coach's Locker Room provides a wealth of bonus material, updates to information contained in How to Go to College Almost for Free, question and answer postings, and other helpful resources.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Although published as adult books, both of these titles address college-bound teens directly and in appealing, informal language. They add a valuable new perspective to the college shelf. Kaplan parlayed intelligence, hard work, and creativity into $90,000 of scholarship money, then graduated from Harvard to write a book designed to help others negotiate their way to unencumbered college cash. His guide, self-published in 2000 by Waggle Dancer Press, is now available, totally revised and updated, in this trade paperback edition. Although loosely organized and sometimes repetitive, the book is filled with useful information, beginning with the happy news that merit awards aren't the sole province of gifted athletes and top students. There's also plenty on how scholarships affect college-aid packages, locating and applying for coveted cash, and even handling telephone interviews. Scattered throughout are references to awards and Web sites, including Kaplan's own. Mitchell also has a Web site, but readers won't find much on scholarship applications. That's not to say she's not concerned about costs: she devotes a whole chapter to finances. But her upbeat, well-organized book (and her site) are more about getting in than getting by. She draws on many years of counseling devoted to helping give college-bound teens confidence and a say of their own in the selection process. She includes a broad range of information-on selection, testing, applying-all the while emphasizing the necessity for personalizing the process, whether that means getting to know a high-school counselor, shaking hands with college reps, or writing an honest application essay. It's a fine combination of solid advice and good sense, both of which will come in handy for teens and their families (parents get one chapter) during the stressful times. -Stephanie Zvirin

Publisher's Weekly Review

While still in high school, Ben Kaplan won more than two dozen merit-based scholarships amounting to more than $90,000 in funds for use at any school. After graduating from Harvard magna cum laude in 2001, he self-published How to Go to College Almost for Free: The Secrets of Winning Scholarship Money, selling more than 65,000 copies out of a custom tour bus dedicated to raising awareness about scholarships. Now reissued, his book offers advice on how to find and win money for college, delivered in an energetic and inspiring voice with broad appeal. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

"The Game"p. xvii
Let the Games Begin!p. 1
Part I How the Game Is Played
Chapter 1 The Big, Bad World of Financial Aidp. 23
Exploding Seven Scholarship Mythsp. 24
Demystifying the Lingop. 30
Need Versus Meritp. 33
Other Forms of Financial Aidp. 44
The Importance of Merit-Based Awardsp. 55
Chapter 1 Summary and Keywordsp. 56
Chapter 2 Rules of the Merit Money Gamep. 59
A Game for Everyonep. 60
The Scholarship Fundersp. 67
The Scholarship Administratorsp. 72
Application Judgesp. 73
Targeted Scholarship Awardsp. 74
Scholarship Application Componentsp. 79
Steer Clear of (Most) Entry Feesp. 84
Spending Your Merit Scholarshipsp. 85
Chapter 2 Summary and Keywordsp. 87
Chapter 3 What Parents Can Do to Helpp. 91
Seven Ways Parents Can Helpp. 92
Helping with Scholarship Searchingp. 93
Strategizing with Your Kidsp. 95
Providing Research Assistancep. 96
Keeping Things Organizedp. 97
Being a Good Sounding Boardp. 97
Reviewing the Applicationp. 98
Giving Support and Encouragementp. 100
Chapter 3 Summary and Keywordsp. 103
Part II Getting Ready to Play
Chapter 4 Finding Your Own Pot of Goldp. 107
The Scholarship Rainbowp. 108
Five Principles of Scholarship Searchingp. 108
Ten "Show Me the Money" Action Stepsp. 114
Action Step #1 Assemble Your Scholarship Search Toolsp. 115
Action Step #2 Tap Into Your School's Resourcesp. 116
Action Step #3 Search Scholarship Databasesp. 119
Action Step #4 Politely Raid Other Schools' Resourcesp. 148
Action Step #5 Canvas Your Communityp. 149
Action Step #6 Seek Out Government Sourcesp. 152
Action Step #7 Pursue All Personal and Family Affiliationsp. 154
Action Step #8 Apply Effective Internet Search Techniquesp. 156
Action Step #9 Uncover School-Specific Awardsp. 161
Action Step #10 Seek Out Related Organizationsp. 165
Chapter 4 Summary and Keywordsp. 169
Part III Strategies That Give You the Edge
Chapter 5 Painting Your Own Portraitp. 175
Knowing the Personp. 176
The Painter's Touchp. 177
Employing Your Themep. 181
Nine Winning Themesp. 185
Finding Your Themep. 195
Chapter 5 Summary and Keywordsp. 195
Chapter 6 Positioning Strategiesp. 197
Scoring Pointsp. 198
Considering Your Competitorsp. 205
Ten Universal Judging Criteriap. 207
Chapter 6 Summary and Keywordsp. 215
Chapter 7 Content Strategiesp. 217
Scholarship Bodybuildingp. 218
Analyzing Depth and Widthp. 219
The Essential Content Strategiesp. 220
All About Academicsp. 228
Chapter 7 Summary and Keywordsp. 233
Part IV When the Whistle Blows
Chapter 8 A Winning Game Planp. 237
Eight Principles of Effective Scholarship Campaignsp. 238
Chapter 8 Summary and Keywordsp. 251
Chapter 9 Essay Excellencep. 253
Five Principles of Winning Essaysp. 254
Spanning Topics and Recycling Essaysp. 261
Finding Your Own Voicep. 266
Getting in the Flowp. 270
Honing Your Essayp. 273
Advice for Specific Topicsp. 278
Short Answer Questionsp. 281
Chapter 9 Summary and Keywordsp. 283
Chapter 10 Glowing Recommendation Lettersp. 285
In Search of Perfect Recommendationsp. 286
Star Witnessesp. 287
Five "Great Recommendation" Action Stepsp. 287
Qualities of a Great Letterp. 299
Chapter 10 Summary and Keywordsp. 303
Chapter 11 Filling in the Blanksp. 305
Paperwork Prowessp. 306
The Stat Sheetp. 310
Activity Listsp. 311
Awards and Honors Listsp. 314
The Transcriptp. 315
Additional Materialsp. 319
Mailing Your Applicationp. 320
Chapter 11 Summary and Keywordsp. 321
Chapter 12 Acing the Interviewp. 323
Interview Masteryp. 324
Preparing for the Interviewp. 324
The Big Dayp. 332
The Main Eventp. 334
Chapter 12 Summary and Keywordsp. 338
Part V When the Buzzer Sounds
Chapter 13 Parting Shotsp. 343
The Home Stretchp. 344
Keeping Track of Your Winningsp. 344
Using Testing to Slash College Costsp. 349
What We've Learnedp. 353
The Appendices
Appendix A Scholarship Coach Search Profile Worksheetp. 355
Appendix B State Agency Contactsp. 357
Appendix C Keyword Master Listp. 363
Indexp. 367