Harvard Grad Finds College Scholarships Pay: John Wasik
Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Ben Kaplan did so well finding college scholarships for himself, that after he graduated with honors from Harvard in 1999 he turned his skill into a business coaching other future students on financial aid searches.
When Kaplan did an extensive scholarship search, he found not only two dozen grants that paid for most of his Harvard education, but also a surprising number of groups willing to hand out money.
In this prime time for applying for college financial aid, it pays to look at every possible source of funding. There are many resources that are often ignored, yet you have to be careful to avoid scams.
``There are even scholarships based on medical conditions, extra-curricular activities or hobbies,'' says Kaplan. ``There are tens of thousands of organizations that give away billions of dollars of grants every year.''
``All of the scholarships I received were merit-based,'' says Kaplan. ``They don't evaluate family's assets; they're based on achievement.''
Kaplan graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics. The 27-year-old, who lives in Portland, Oregon, founded the Web site http://www.scholarshipcoach.com , which is one of many Web sites offering free searches of databases for scholarship aid. The site also sells Kaplan's books and software on how to obtain financial assistance.