Is writing an essay for someone else for an educational scholarship or grant is considered a type of grant writing or is it considered fraud?

Asked on November 22, 2015 under Criminal Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue is how is the essay attributed and whether the rules of the application process require that it be personally written or not. If the rules require the applicant the write the essay personally, or the applicant affirmatively passes off someone else's product as being personally written, that is improper. If the rules are silent about who authors the essay and the applicant does not attribute it to him/herself, then he/she would not have done anything wrong.
As a general rule of thumb, using another person's essay would almost always be wrong when applying for a scholarship: the scholarship is given to a person based (at least in part) on his/her own ability, so the essay needs to be written personally. As to a grant, it depends on the nature of the grant and the rules applicable to that grant specifically.

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