How To Write The College Essay

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In the admissions process, there’s a high premium on the personal statement, a 500-word essay submitted through the Common Application, about some foible or lesson, which aims to give readers a better sense of the student than, say, a standardized test score.

More than one university and advising blog rank the essay among the “most important” aspects of the process; one consultant writing in described it as “the purest part of the application.” But while test scores are completed by the student alone—barring bribed proctors, that is—any number of people can alter an essay before submission, opening it up to exploitation and less-than-pure tactics at the hands of helicopter parents or expensive college-prep counselors who cater to the 1 percent.

Some of the foreign students, four of the eight tutors told The Daily Beast, ranged in their English ability and required significant rewriting.

One consultant, a freelancer who stumbled into tutoring in the fall of 2017 after a classmate needed someone to take over his clients, recounted the story of a female applicant with little-to-no English skills.

For the ultra-rich, big contributions might get their name on a science building and their offspring a spot at a top-tier school—an option California Gov.

Gavin Newsom recently called “legal bribery.” Even the moderately wealthy can grease the admissions process with extensive SAT tutoring or, more problematically, college application essay editing.’”) Then, the student would write a draft, and bounce back edits with their tutor, who would grade it according to a standardized rubric, which included categories like spelling, sentence structure, style, or whether it was “bullshit-free.”Most made between and 0 per hour, or around

Gavin Newsom recently called “legal bribery.” Even the moderately wealthy can grease the admissions process with extensive SAT tutoring or, more problematically, college application essay editing.

’”) Then, the student would write a draft, and bounce back edits with their tutor, who would grade it according to a standardized rubric, which included categories like spelling, sentence structure, style, or whether it was “bullshit-free.”Most made between $30 and $100 per hour, or around $1,000 for helping a student through the entire application process, at times working on as many as 18 essays at a time for various schools.

Two tutors who worked for the same company said they got a bonus if clients were accepted at their target universities.

I mean there were the bare workings of a narrative here—even the grasp on English is tenuous,” he said.

“I think that, you know, being able to read and write in English would be kind of a prerequisite for an American university.

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Gavin Newsom recently called “legal bribery.” Even the moderately wealthy can grease the admissions process with extensive SAT tutoring or, more problematically, college application essay editing.’”) Then, the student would write a draft, and bounce back edits with their tutor, who would grade it according to a standardized rubric, which included categories like spelling, sentence structure, style, or whether it was “bullshit-free.”Most made between $30 and $100 per hour, or around $1,000 for helping a student through the entire application process, at times working on as many as 18 essays at a time for various schools.Two tutors who worked for the same company said they got a bonus if clients were accepted at their target universities.I mean there were the bare workings of a narrative here—even the grasp on English is tenuous,” he said.“I think that, you know, being able to read and write in English would be kind of a prerequisite for an American university.Managers would send him essays via email, and the tutor would revise and return them, with anywhere between a 24-hour and two-week turnaround.But from the beginning, the consultant explained, his managers were “pretty explicit” that the job entailed less editing than rewriting. I would say about 50 percent were entirely rewritten.”In one particularly egregious instance, the tutor said, a student submitted an essay on hip-hop, which named his three or four favorite rappers, but lacked a clear narrative.In interviews with The Daily Beast, eight college application tutors shed light on the economy of editing, altering, and, at times, outright rewriting personal statements.The essay editors, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity since many still work in their field, painted the portrait of an industry rife with ethical hazards, where the line between helping and cheating can become difficult to draw.But these parents really don’t care about that at all.They’re going to pay whoever to make the essays look like whatever to get their kids into school.”The tutor continued to advise this client, doing “numerous, numerous edits on this girl’s essay” until she was later accepted at Columbia University.

,000 for helping a student through the entire application process, at times working on as many as 18 essays at a time for various schools.Two tutors who worked for the same company said they got a bonus if clients were accepted at their target universities.I mean there were the bare workings of a narrative here—even the grasp on English is tenuous,” he said.“I think that, you know, being able to read and write in English would be kind of a prerequisite for an American university.Managers would send him essays via email, and the tutor would revise and return them, with anywhere between a 24-hour and two-week turnaround.But from the beginning, the consultant explained, his managers were “pretty explicit” that the job entailed less editing than rewriting. I would say about 50 percent were entirely rewritten.”In one particularly egregious instance, the tutor said, a student submitted an essay on hip-hop, which named his three or four favorite rappers, but lacked a clear narrative.In interviews with The Daily Beast, eight college application tutors shed light on the economy of editing, altering, and, at times, outright rewriting personal statements.The essay editors, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity since many still work in their field, painted the portrait of an industry rife with ethical hazards, where the line between helping and cheating can become difficult to draw.But these parents really don’t care about that at all.They’re going to pay whoever to make the essays look like whatever to get their kids into school.”The tutor continued to advise this client, doing “numerous, numerous edits on this girl’s essay” until she was later accepted at Columbia University.

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