Another College Cheating Scandal: Personal Essay ‘Editors’ Reveal How They Cheat for Rich

Another College Cheating Scandal: Personal Essay ‘Editors’ Reveal How They Cheat for Rich

Tarpley Hitt

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Getty

Last week, the sting operation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues exposed a long list of well-heeled and well-known parents who rigged the college-admissions process, in part by paying proctors and ringers to take or correct tests for their kids. Not long after news for the scheme broke, critics rushed to indicate that celebrity parents like Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman did need to break n’t what the law states to game the system.

For the ultra-rich, big contributions might get their name on a science building and their offspring an area 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.

Within the admissions process, there’s a high premium on the personal statement, a 500-word essay submitted through the normal Application, about some foible or lesson, which aims to give readers a far better feeling of the student than, say, a standardized test score. More than one university and advising blog rank the essay among the “most important” areas of the process; one consultant writing in the brand new York Times described it as “the part that is purest associated with application.”

But while test scores are completed because of the student alone—barring bribed proctors, that is—any number of people can transform an essay before submission, opening it up to exploitation and less-than-pure tactics as a result of helicopter parents or expensive college-prep counselors who focus on the one percent. Continue reading “Another College Cheating Scandal: Personal Essay ‘Editors’ Reveal How They Cheat for Rich”