Cut College Costs! Course for Parents: Day 5

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Lesson 4: The #1 Thing You Can Do to Help Your Student with Their Scholarship Essays

Let’s get right into today’s lesson because I feel as though it’s going to be the best thing you can do to help your son or daughter earn scholarships.

Plus, I’ll make sure that if you’re feeling overwhelmed or even short on time that we ease those fears too.

So what is it?

The best thing you can do to help your student is to have someone else read their scholarship essays.

That may disappoint a few of you, but it’s extremely critical to the process.

I know we’ve got some parents out there who have been proofreading scholarship essays. Maybe you’re already encouraging your student to have a teacher or someone else proofread their essay, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it correctly.

Remember Mark Twain’s quote about identifying the “wrong words”? While there are several questions your Scholarship Essay Editor should be using as a guide, here are 3 key questions I would recommend using immediately:

Question #1: What’s the strongest part of this essay? What area or areas need improvement?

Your Scholarship Essay Editor’s ability to pinpoint the strongest pieces of the essays helps your student to strengthen their future applications because they will understand what resonates most.

An editor’s ability to also pinpoint areas that need improvement will force your student to further develop a segment of their essay that could mean the difference between winning and losing the scholarship.

Question #2: What is this essay really about? Does it align with the prompt and purpose of the sponsoring committee?

As someone that reads thousands of scholarship essays each year, it amazes me how some students fail to align with the committee or organization. They’ll write a beautiful essay that completely misses the mark.

Students need to understand all of the underlying tones of their essay. By having an editor communicate what the essay is about, it becomes easier to make the connection with the prompt and purpose of the sponsoring committee.

Question #3: What evidence can the committee point to as a strong argument for selecting this as the winning essay?

Committees need to have justifiable evidence as to why they selected your son or daughter as the scholarship recipient. Make sure that their editor is unbiased in evaluating the quality of the essay’s contents. If they aren’t, they’re running the risk of wasting a lot of time by doing the wrong things and using the wrong words.

While I know that these questions may appear obvious, don’t underestimate their simplicity. I’ve had college parents that were English teachers, tell me they wished they’d paid attention to this information when their student was initially applying for scholarships.

This ALSO Impacts Scholarship Essay and Will Save You Time

Scholarship essays shouldn’t appear out of thin air. If a student is consistently winning, I can guarantee that they have a system in place for how they construct their scholarship essays.

If your student doesn’t have a scholarship writing process that they can duplicate, it becomes difficult to have the confidence to win scholarships to pay for college.

Remember the “Mexican Food Philosophy” from Lesson 2? Remember how we began building and checking your student’s Scholarship Profile in Lesson 3? Those lessons work together to bring us to this point where the scholarship essay originates.

Poor ingredients create a poor product.

If you do not have someone that is skilled in identifying the hidden gems that make your family valuable to scholarship committees, it will take you more time to create a winning system.

Think about it. There’s a difference in fast-food versus upscale Mexican cuisine featuring freshly picked vine-ripened tomatoes, handmade tortillas, crisp lettuce that was grown in the restaurant’s garden, and the perfect blend of cheeses to bring out the rich flavors.

Is your student serving fast food or fine dining? It’s the difference between student loans and scholarships.

Can you find and apply for scholarships on your own? Yes, but it will take you more time and cost you opportunities. There are subtle things that you can overlook if you don’t understand what influences your family’s unique scholarship process.


If you know that you’re going to need help in making sure that your student positions themselves as best as possible, I want to invite you to work with one of our Scholarship Coaches in something special we’ve put together.

There’s a quote I once heard that says: Help others get ahead. You will always stand taller with someone else on your shoulders.” I want you to stand on my shoulders because I know your son or daughter is already standing on yours. Let us help you obtain the peace of mind that comes when your student wins their first or next scholarship.

For those parents out there that know they need help or guidance and want their student to get the assistance that they need, click here to learn more about helping your student create a strong Scholarship Profile.

Today’s Action Items

  • Send your student’s Scholarship Essay Editor to this page. Have them review the 3 key questions when evaluating your student’s next scholarship essay.
  • Assess your student process. Are they serving fast food or fine dining? How will you bridge the gap so that they become more competitive?
  • If you know that you need help and guidance, make sure you click here to be taken to learn ways to save yourself time, money, and stress.

And with that, we’ve come to the end of Lesson 4. In Lesson 5, we’ll be covering: How to Create Your Family’s Scholarship Advantage

To your family’s scholarship success,