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Write College Scholarship Essays Like A Pro or Mandy`s Story

EssayPro are Free MOOC courses to Learn HOW TO WRITE A WINNING Scholarship ESSAY, housed at

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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it reimagine the cost of college?

The idea connects low income students to free resources to learn how to write winning scholarship essays in order to finance their college costs with scholarships and grants. Learn about Mandy and her success story on how to finance 100% of your college costs by grants and scholarships. Mandy won over $25,000 in scholarships! Learn how single mother of three, manage to graduate with zero debt and support her family by writing incredible winning essays.
I could not believe what I just heard: single mother of three kids, going to college for free? No debt? No job either?  Read how she did it... 

Please meet Mandy. I met Mandy at my friend`s sons birthday party. She did not stand out from many other moms, but someone we got connected and started talking about our lives. I quickly learned, Mandy had to overcome many adversities in her lifetime: rocky marriage, bad divorce, low income background, raising kids on her own and going to college. In fact, Mandy, age 43, was graduating with her Bachelor Degree from Colorado State University in Social Sciences. Our interview was over an hour long, here are the key things I learned on how Mandy made her dream come true:

0. Focus on your story, to show how the scholarship will help you to achieve your goals

1. Take time to collect best stories about your life, make it real and emotional, so readers can feel they way you did, when you experienced it

2. Have a plan on when you will work on essays, schedule time every day to draft a story or tow

3. Have a calendar on when essays come due to manage your time most effectively

4. Keep big picture- your future in mind

5. Find a partners to keep you accountable and motivated


You may think- ok, this is just one person making it happen, this is not common. I thought so too! After doing some research I learned, that 30% of US college students in 2014 financed their college costs with scholarships and grants!!!

Average percent of total cost paid from each source: 
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32% parent income and savings
11% student income and savings
16% student borrowing
6% parent borrowing
30% scholarships and grants
5% relatives and friends

Check this out:

Good idea/Prototype on how to build the platform:

The platform will create revenue stream by licensing the content to major universities, in order to increase enrollment.  

I asked Mandy- if it so easy to write an essay and win the scholarship, why don`t more people use this route? She said- people do not take time to get good at it and write and re-write it. She added: "I do not have a job, this is all I do. if I spent two hours writing a good piece and get $500 for it, it is like, $250 dollars per hour, it is pretty good, isn't it?"

 I could not help but wonder- could we help more low income students to get out of poverty by providing a free resource to learn Mandy`s strategy?

What do you think about idea of creating a video content and license it to universities in order to help more low-income students to get into college ?

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We could organize free and simple class at the local AIMS community college, and see if there is a lot of interest about the topic of learning how to write a winning essay..

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Maybe connecting to other innovators who have similar interests/ideas?

This idea emerged from

  • A student collaboration
  • An Individual

Are you interested in the Path to Pitching track we've developed for this challenge?

  • Yes


Join the conversation:

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Practice using Dumpscollection. I have gained enough confidence to take this tough exam.

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