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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2012
Underscoring the importance of a college education as well as the fact that financing a college education is no joke, this book provides advice on how best to go about attaining scholarships for tertiary education. Another important point the writer makes is that students don't necessarily have to be straight A students, sports buffs or in the crème de la crème category to earn scholarships. Sure it helps to have a few great accolades tucked under your belt when applying for a scholarship, but I think too many people use that silly myth to deter them from gaining much needed assistance.

This book is great because:

1. It provides life skills that will help readers beyond the process of scholarship applications.
2. It covers the full process of applying (Fasfa, applications, essays, interviews, post-scholarship) and includes secrets that have been vetted by current admission officers.
3. It provides tips to win a lot of money regardless of your current financial situation.

I highly recommend it!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2012
There are countless books about scholarships online. However, thhis book is different.

What do you do in your freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior year to win a lot of scholarships? Check
How do you swift through the countless scholarships online? Check
Who do you recruit to help guide you throughout your scholarship search? Check
What to include in your story to make sure you stand out? Check
What other things can you do to make sure you stand out? Check

The book has countless other checks that you'll have to read. Hopefully, this review helps, but if not...go read the Preface online at the author's site.

Good luck in your search
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2012
Some good information in the book. But the real value of the book is the internet addresses given to use in lookin up information. I do not regret buying this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2012
The Insiders Guide to a Free Ride has been a great resource to us at The College Preparation Program (College Prep Atlanta). The book clearly and concisely outlines the, often misunderstood, process by which scholarships are awarded. The Insiders Guide breaks down what students and parents should expect when applying for scholarships, and how best to craft a competitive application. This book is not only required reading for the students and parents with whom we work, but it is also one we frequently recommend to schools and organizations looking to prepare students for college. An excellent resource for the college-bound high school student, or the parent attempting to pay for their child's college, The Insiders Guide to a Free Ride gets a perfect score from College Prep Atlanta.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2013
This book provides a comprehensive, step by step guide for success in procuring scholarships. The author does a great job of outlining the process for searching and applying to scholarships as well as providing helpful tips on how to differentiate yourself in the application process. In the age of rising tuition costs, This book is a must-have for parents and students who are committed to getting the best possible value for a college education.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This book is all about the strategies and how to get the most out of your efforts when applying for college and scholarships. It relates to the first-time college student more than anyone else, so if you're a graduate student or even an undergrad with a couple years under your belt, this book isn't for you.

Published in 2012, the information in the book is still relevant to today however, if the student interested in this information is frequently in contact with a good school counselor or taking a class like 'College Prep' which focuses on this information anyway, this book may contain old news. What this book will do is prepare students for who are unfamiliar with the process to complete the FAFSA (federal financial aid form), get to thinking about how to sell themselves to colleges and scholarship committees, do well in an interview, and think about funding for college.


The bottom line: this book lays out a plan for action, which is its greatest strength and the reason you should consider buying it.

Section 1: The Preparation gets you to thinking about telling your story through essays, and how those relate to getting scholarship money.

Section 2: Build Your Board is all about the team you have on your side during this process.

Section 3: Find Funding is about locating scholarships and filling out the all-important FAFSA form.

Section 4: Prepare Your Package is a reminder to gather information and recommendations to sell yourself to those looking to give you admission and scholarships.

Section 5: Ace Your Interview is about the what to do and what not to do of your college entrance interview, but it can also relate to any scholarship interviews.

Section 6: Manage Your Money relates to the ups and downs of applying for funding.

Section 7: Money Maintenance gets you to think about how once you get funding for college, how to keep it.


This book isn't anything revolutionary. Much of the information in it can be gained for free from other online sources, but if you're not sure how to find it, this book may be useful to you.

At the end of each chapter there's a short listing of 'Key Things To Remember...'. This is generally common sense stuff like "...When you win a scholarship, contact the committee to thank them." Simple, good advice that is worth remembering for sure.

'Expert Tip' moments are peppered throughout the book too. Trusted sources with good, common sense advice (yet again...) that should be taken into consideration.

Overall, the book is an easy to read, well written guide to the process of getting funded for college. It's primarily for incoming college freshman, with lots of good tips and a straightforward writing style that is clear and encouraging. This book isn't for everyone, but I don't think the author intended it to be all encompassing as much as a general overview.

The reason I'm not completely sold on this book is that the title is misleading. You will not learn how to get a huge windfall of scholarship cash using this book, but you will get some tips as to how to do well in the process of applying. Having 'Free Ride' in the title is eye catching, but realistically it isn't the way it goes for 95% of college students, so as long as you don't expect this book to magically make it happen for you, you will likely get a bit of useful info.

Again, this book isn't for readers who already feel confident that they understand the process of applying for college and scholarship awards. Nor will it dump cash in your lap, but it does have some good tips and solid common sense advice that those new to the process will appreciate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2013
The Insiders Guide to a Free Ride is a wonderful book that provides invaluable knowledge about how to navigate the scholarship application process , FAFSA, and securing grants. As a college graduate I decided to purchase the book for my younger cousin, and found the information to be current and applicable to all types of students. The author describes how the scholarship process is about telling ones story, and how you don't have to be the straight A student, or the star athlete to win a scholarship. The key is being able to sell your story. What I found most useful was the sections that laid out what students should be doing each year of High School. I would definitely recommend this for individuals going into high school and those that are currently in high school. It is never to early to begin preparing for college, and this book provides an excellent framework for those looking to reduce the cost of a college education. I am very happy that I purchased this book!!!! This Christmas all of my younger cousins will be getting a copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2012
Thank you so much for sharing your book. I have just completed section 4 and it is awesome. I wish we had this information last year when my son started doing essays for scholarships. What a lot of helpful information for the current scholarships that he is working on. This vital information is so much needed. Myself along with other parents are pulling our hair out daily trying to keep our children encouraged and to push them to hunt for scholarships. It has been a headache for me, and I am searching and networking to help my child and I can see him at times being discouraged looking for them. I pray that God will continue to keep his hands on you and keep your mind sharp.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2012
By detailing a systematic approach for tackling the scholarship search, Marvis Burns equips readers with a competitive advantage to finding and winning scholarship awards for higher education, awards which can often seem all too elusive, especially if one does not have the information in this book. I found the section on building a board particularly insightful. The ongoing support and guidance from such a group would prove invaluable to a student during the search. The information in this book provides structure and clarity to the seemingly daunting task of navigating the world of scholarships, and I have personally found it useful as I work now to win scholarship money for my education. I highly recommend it for mastering the scholarship landscape.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2012
I purchased this book to help find money for schlorships. Great easy read and also entertaining. Wish I found it earlier. Parents with kids in High School need to grab this book! Even though the book was geared more to HS, I did get alot of useful info out of the book. We have started our search and we are keeping our fingers crossed. Thanks Mr. Burns!!
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