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.
“Her parents had me come in and look at all her college essays.
The shape they were brought to me in was essentially unreadable.
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.
(“I would say there were a lot of instances of hammering kids with potential ideas,” one tutor said.
“Like, ‘That’s a terrible idea for an essay, why don’t you try this instead?
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.