Scholarship Application Essay: 10 Tips to Make Yours Sizzle

A winning scholarship application essay has something extra to make it memorable and win. Look below for 10 tips to using a paid essay service to get this right.

Where to Start - Basic Scholarship Essay Advice

You can find starter help on writing a scholarship application essay right here. For instance, you can boost the number of ideas you have with my page on brainstorming to help you bring out who you are and what you can write about. Take a look at my page on 6 basic tips to improving your college scholarship essay for the easiest ways to avoid common problems.

You can also benefit from reading two winning scholarship essays from

Or, you can see my scholarship essay sample page with several sources of sample essays. It will give you an idea of what wins. And to help you find your grammar errors, I prepared just about the worst scholarship essay example you’ll ever read, with errors to show you what not to do.

Use the above links to get you started. The more you write and get feedback, edit and rewrite, the more your writing will improve. You’ll also find that you can write faster and still turn out excellent work as you practice more.

And download my free grant and scholarship ebook for more sources of money for college.

Tempted to Use an Essay Writing Service?

So far, my advice on preparing a scholarship application essay has been free. But I’m sure every now and then, you might be tempted to call up an essay writing service to bail you out.

If that’s the case, you’ll benefit from the tips below. I have put together a resource to help you work with a paid service and get the most for your money while still sending in the best essay possible. Before you hire someone to write for you, read these tips and use them to determine who to go to for writing. Writing your own essay is always best.

When You Don’t Have the Time, or Just Need Help

Time can become short, or you may have too much going on to write up the scholarship application essay. A service might be just what you need. I encourage everyone to write their own essay, with input from teachers and others you trust.

Tips to Make Your Scholarship Application Essay Better

1. Free Service - To start with, some services offer a free look at your scholarship application essay – you might only need this free service, or you can use it to sort your ideas as you start writing with a paid editor.

You should expect that they won't tell you much, and will try to sell you on buying their service.

2. Electronic Delivery – Assumed these days, but be sure. Electronic delivery also allows you to format and print more flexibly, and save your essays for future use.

3. Your Story - You still do most of the writing: Okay, this may come as a shock. These services don’t just look through their files and sell you essay number 23,456. They need you to write an essay or at least an outline. Then, they can help you with ideas or with expressing yourself. But this is a good thing – your want a unique essay.

4. Rewrites - The service must allow multiple rewrites, time permitting. As you get into the process, you’ll have more ideas and realize what else you could say.

5. Ownership - When the essay is done, you own it, right? You don’t want others submitting your life as their essay – and winning your money for college! (Also called confidentiality.)

6. Responsiveness - The service must be responsive and have fast turnaround times, especially if you plan to use them in a tight time situation. My advice: start as early as possible. Don’t wait until you only have 6 hours to finish your scholarship application essay. Save money, save yourself some stress. Start early.

7. Native Speakers - Verify that the editor writing your essay is a native English speaker. Otherwise, you’ll have to edit the editor, and that’s not the position you want to be in. FYI, they probably will always say they speak English. You should always review the finished essay.

8. Urgency - If they advise you to spend 2 weeks brainstorming, decline. If you are busy and you end up taking a couple of weeks, fine. When your essay deadline is Friday and it’s Monday, spend 2 hours brainstorming (use this list to help you get started) and move on to writing. Get it done.

9. Communication - You must be able to get in touch with the writer, not through an order desk. Email or phone, in case of a time crunch or other problems communicating ideas.

10. Develop a relationship - When you see good results, such as an award or a great essay, stay with that editor. As you submit more scholarship application essays, you will have an editor that knows you and can help more, like any professional advisor.

If you visit a few writing services sites, you’ll find that they increase prices as the deadline approaches. That makes sense – if you need it now, you’ll pay more, just like a first run movie, an airplane ticket, or overnight shipping. Once again, start early to avoid the big fees and possible bad work as your deadline approaches.

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