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 schooling paid for by various granting organizations.
There’s a lot of memoir to this book of sage advice (hence the title) and early on I wondered if it would be worth reading. I really wanted to get to the meat of the book; the how-tos and advice. Instead we get some history on Kristina Ellis’s personal life and we learn what she had to over-come in order to get to where she is.
Personally, I found this distracting and wondered if Ellis might not be limiting her audience as surely very few youngster have overcome the adversity such as she has. She does address this, but it never rings true to me. Many of the scholarships which she won, seemed to come to her, in part, because of her perseverence to overcome her obstacles. As a parent who has been able to (and has attempted to) provide as many opportunities rather than obstacles for my children, I realize that it may be difficult for them to get a wide variety of scholarships and grants. Ellis’s trying to write about how anyone can gets these scholarships feels hollow because it is one of the few times that she is not writing from personal experience.
Also, the experiences of Ellis becoming a “Miss” Pageant winner also felt odd to me. This seemed even more limiting…but again… I was looking at this book more for the ‘scholarship’ part than for the ‘confessions’ part.
Despite these two major areas that didn’t draw me in to the informational aspect of the book, I did find Ellis’s tips and advice to be incredibly helpful. Some points seemed blatantly obvious, and yet she manages to explain things with incredible clarity and I found myself thinking, “Well, yeah! That makes total sense!”
I’m an old dog, but I did learna few tricks with this book, and I’m determined to have my son read it this summer as he prepares to go in to his junior year in high school. I think he, like his dad, will learn some things that could really help him be successful in his bids to getting scholarships for his goal to go to college for engineering.
A must read for students.
Looking for a good book? This is a very good book for college-bound students (and their parents who’d like some help paying for school).
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Confessions of a Scholarship Winner: How I Graduated College Debt Free and You Can Too
author: Kristina Ellis
publisher: Worthy Publishing
paperback, 224 pages