Can I Pay for my College Essay?

Applying to college takes time and a good deal of patience and commitment. It’s not something you’re going to do in five minutes. So if you can get someone to write your essay for you, it will ease the workload. Here are some pros and cons of that decision.

You can pay for your college essay. It may not be as personal or effective as doing it yourself.

There are certainly reasons why paying for your essay is viable but also reasons why you should not.

  1. Picking your essay prompt
  2. If you were paying for your college essay who would you pick?
  3. Cost of an Essay
  4. Compromise – buy one but don’t hand it in
  5. Being prepared allows time

The pressure of applying to college is huge. So much information to gather. So much choice on where to apply. You can be anyone you want to be in your college application. Be the best you can be. This may or may not involve someone writing your essays for you, but read on to know what this involves.

Picking your college essay prompt

Write about something real, or at least reality-based. A memory, or an event, or a time filled with emotion, be it happiness, jealousy, rage, or proudness, it doesn’t matter as long as it is believable.

The same will be true for your college essay. The admissions office wants to read something different, maybe where you tried incredibly hard to do something but just missed out on being successful tells them a great amount about you. The main fact is that you didn’t quit. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t succeed. It gives an insight into your personality. If you are genuinely drawing from memories, then you can easily talk about the imagery and emotions. It’s not as easy to convey this to someone else and then for them to write a convincing essay for you.

However, if you are selecting an essay writing company – and there are a lot to choose from – you are paying them to get this message across which leads to my next heading.

If you were paying for your college essay who would you pick?

There are a few options when it comes to picking someone to help. Online, there are hundreds of companies offering to help. Promising no plagiarism, unique essays, and the wow factor.
Maybe a sibling or school friend is worth considering but the cost might be greater, as the truth may be revealed. This might not be something you are concerned about.

If you are paying a company, then they will of course write an essay worthy of a college application, but it must be a reputable company. Do a search for what people think about them. How they rate. Read forums and reviews, and what’s good and what’s not so good about them. This is after all your future, your college application is depending on it. No point in paying a company, if they are churning out the same essay to hundreds of students.

Paying someone closer to home, as I say is also a risk. They may be eager to help but can just copy from the net. On the other hand, if they know you well, they could write a convincing essay with your thoughts and ideas and make it read better than you could have.

Cost of an essay

The cost of an essay is also something that needs to be considered. There are, as I said companies that will hand hold you through your whole college application but this in some cases can run to thousands of dollars. And of course, every parent wants the best for their child, unfortunately, this is not in everyone’s budget.

In saying that, a lot of the companies offer a tiered approach. You can choose where you need help with your application.

Other companies offer just the essay option. They also have a pick-and-choose way of doing things. The cost of an essay can be anything from $50 – $100 depending on length and timescale.

Most of these companies’ prices are offered on a per-page basis. Be careful not to be sucked in by their marketing.

College application so expensive is another one of my posts that touches on the different costs involved in a college application.

Paying a friend or sibling is probably the most difficult choice when it comes to money. If you decide on a price, you need to know they are going to stick to that price. Unlike a company, there is no contract in place. Just a gentlemen’s agreement. This could get out of hand (or not).
They may ask for more money, and if you don’t agree, there may become an issue where they will spill the beans, to the college, to teachers, to family members.

As I say, maybe you don’t care who they tell and that’s fine but if it’s a secret you need to be mindful of this when getting involved with someone you know.

How involves should I be in my teens college application is another one of my posts you may be interested to read.

Compromise on your College Essay

You could compromise and buy an essay but not use it. Why would you do this and what would be the benefits? You might decide that you have a few ideas for a particular prompt but want to take it to the next level. Buying an essay would allow you to read an essay that is good grammatically, but also with good use of language – descriptive words, that you may not have thought of or are not in your vocabulary.
The benefits of this are that the essay you hand in is your own work.
You can be true to your application and if accepted to your college of choice, you know you got there on your own merit.

I also spoke with my son about this and he said this wouldn’t be for him because after he read the premade one he wouldn’t be able to think of anything else to write. We had been discussing sample answers to exam questions. Of course, he is correct to some degree. You think that their essay is better than yours but in fact, this is not always the case.

The other thing to consider if you are possibly going to buy one but not hand it in is that there are hundreds if not thousands of sample essays online.

Why would you buy one?

The risk is that you will read one, decide that it is amazing and either use it or something similar.
You do not want your college application jeopardized because they feel (or they know) that you stole your essay from the internet. So think carefully about where you do your research for your essay.

Being Prepared – Allows Time

The college essay prompts are released in January each year. Even if you are planning on applying for Early Decision / Early Action this doesn’t happen until October. This gives you 10 months to prepare 650 words. No, it’s not an easy task. Writing a shorter essay is usually harder than a long drawn out one. But 10 months is a long time. Even with everything else that needs to be done.

How early should you submit your college application is another one of my posts about the planning and preparation involved in going to college.

If you are serious about your college application and you should be, this is your future after all, then come January read the prompts provided and consider which best suits you.

This may be 3-4 prompts. You don’t have to pick right away. Do some brainstorming. Decide the important issues that matter to you. This should lead to at least 2-3 topics that could be expanded.

Discuss your topics out loud, maybe with a teacher or parent.
Vocalizing an idea is a great way of seeing if an idea has a future. Your essay needs to be different. You need to stand apart from the thousands of other applicants. Your college essay may be an idea that flows freely and only needs minor tweaks.

However, you may read the prompts and be at a complete loss. Word has it, everyone has at least one good story in them.

If you need help, there’s certainly no shame in getting it. If you decide to pay for your essay that is your choice.

There’s always a good reason for the choices we make, as long as they are good choices.

Tara Cunningham

Tara Cunningham is a Mum and Graphic Designer. My children's education has always been very important to me. I feel that if you are willing to put in the time they will appreciate the effort. I hope that you find our thoughts and ideas useful and interesting.

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