Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Million Dollar Scholar Offers Advice for College-Bound Financial Aid Seekers at

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Derrius Quarles may have had the grades of a typical scholarship winner, but his story is anything but ordinary. The 19-year-old spent his childhood in the foster care system before becoming the “Million Dollar Scholar,” a nod to the $1.1 million in scholarships he has won to fund his college education and career aspirations.

Today, Derrius is a freshman at Morehouse College in Atlanta, a college that offered him a full scholarship on top of the awards he won by tackling the scholarship application process. In a series of blog posts on, a resource he credits for much of his success in the hunt for available awards, Derrius will explain how he was chosen to receive more than $1 million in scholarships, a rare feat among scholarship applicants. His posts will include tips on the scholarship search process, with advice on funding a college education no matter your background.

“Derrius is a remarkable young man and a wonderful example for visitors of,” said Kevin Ladd, Vice President for “He has some great advice for those currently searching for scholarships and we feel our readers will really benefit from learning about his approach and hopefully win some scholarships of their own.”

His second post in the series, featured on the website today, gives advice on building a strong scholarship application, an important step in impressing those evaluating applicants’ academic records and achievements. Derrius himself had a difficult start in high school, earning failing marks his first year before being pushed to work harder by a teacher. He ended up graduating from Chicago’s Kenwood Academy with a 4.2 GPA, with the drive to apply for – and win – some of the most competitive and generous scholarship awards out there, including $10,000 from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and $20,000 from the Dell Scholars Program.

Today, Derrius can boast winning more than $1.1 million in scholarships, including full scholarships not only at Morehouse, but at four other universities. Derrius is pursuing a degree in psychology and biology, with a minor in public health. He hopes to one day complete a doctorate, work on improving the public health policies and educational opportunities for low-income youth in his hometown of Chicago and nationwide, and become the U.S. Surgeon General.

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