Full Ride: Frequently Asked Questions

Note: My answers may contain some spoilers for the book—please don’t read this if you haven’t finished the book!

What made you decide to write this book?

My kids are close in age, so toward the end of their high school years there was an intense phase of about three years straight where I watched them and many of their friends figure out where they wanted to go to college and what they wanted to study. In some cases, the teenagers I knew acted like this was a life-or-death decision; some of them seemed to think that if they made the wrong choice—or, worse, if their dream college rejected them—they were condemned to lifelong failure. (As a parent, I can’t resist injecting here: That isn’t actually true. The college decision is just one out of a lifetime of decisions. You get lots of chances to choose… and to change your mind if you make a mistake.) I started wondering: What if a high school senior really was facing more of a life-or-death decision as she figured out her college possibilities and plans? What if even applying to college was dangerous for her?

As my own kids approached graduation and applied for scholarships, I also became intrigued with the concept of memorial scholarships. I knew families who had lost their children in tragic accidents or because of tragic medical conditions, and I was in awe of those parents who could turn their own unbearable losses into a reason to help other kids get an education. I started wondering what would happen if there was some sort of mystery attached to a scholarship. Would a teenager try to solve the mystery—or would she just care about winning the money?

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