Think you can pay tutors to write your child’s college app essays? Not if you want them to get into college and do well once they get there!
When a tutor gets paid to edit dozens of essays, it’s in the tutor’s best interest to completely rewrite them as quickly as possible. But just because the essay is excellent, doesn’t mean that the student will get into a top college. Actually, perfect essays will probably do the opposite! Yup! Remember college admissions officers read thousands of essays and they can quickly spot an essay that isn’t written by the student. They review each student’s entire application so they see the student’s GPA and SAT/ACT scores, quality of the school, caliber of courses taken, and extracurriculars. That means that if this tutor wrote an excellent essay from a college graduate’s refined perspective and writing style, it might not match up with what the admissions officer would expect to read from an average high school student. In other words, the essay probably won’t pass the sniff test.
In the unlikely chance that this student got into their dream college by submitting an essay that a tutor wrote for him, he’ll likely fail out. I see this happening every year. How can parents expect their child to do well in college when the entire class of incoming students have far superior critical thinking and writing skills than their child? This unfortunate child will harbor feelings of incompetence as he struggles to pass courses. His parents will need to pay tutors to write his essays for classes just to graduate. This student couldn’t possibly go on to graduate school because his college GPA will not be competitive, and forget him passing the GRE or other grad school exams.
So if your child is not a prolific writer, don’t pay someone to write their essays. Instead, hire a tutor who will teach him how to write these essays. It might take 15-20 drafts but with each draft, your child’s writing skills will improve. First they should start with carefully reading the essay prompts. 20% of my students write essays that don’t address the prompt – a big no-no in the eyes of college admissions officers. Then they’ll need to brainstorm about experiences they’ve had that address the prompts. If they’ve done a project, that will be the focus for all of their applications. Next, they’ll write an outline, and then a rough draft. In the following 3-4 drafts, they’ll add more content and details, and then they’ll start editing grammar and word usage. In the final drafts, they’ll be polishing the essay and checking its tone and clarity. If the student reads it and it doesn’t sound like they’re telling the story, then they will continue to work on it until it does. When they’re done, the student will be proud of the essay and ready to start the next one. Each essay will get easier to write and when they’re done with all of their applications, your child will be ready to tackle college-level essays and head off to college with success.
Do your child a favor by not paying someone to write his essays. Stay away from companies that give you package deals because they’ll be motivated to do heavy editing or rewrite essays that your child could never write. All of my college advisory specialists are trained and dedicated to helping students write excellent essays and retain each student’s individual voice. They don’t rush through the process because the student’s writing won’t improve. Sure, you want your child to get into a top college or university, but you want them to get in on their own merits and you want them to have the skills to hold their head up high and enjoy their college experience.