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“Personal statements are short films.” Sawyer has gotten requests to write the essay outright, but he’s turned them down.Mostly, he sees kids who just need a little help, some prompting to get started or proofreading on the back end.
“Not every college or university has the chance to meet every applicant,” says Stephanie S. a way for a student to convey their interests, passions, reflections or future goals.” [Want your child to get into college and have a good life?
Espina, director of freshman admissions at Adelphi University in Garden City, N. “The essay is an opportunity to get to know the student on a more personal level . Here’s how.] But college isn’t just about kids’ goals anymore.
But parental expectation is like the mythical hydra when it comes to college admissions.
Where one head may be silenced with a glowing recommendation letter from a basketball coach or band director, another is already popping up to shout, “But what about that essay!?
For parents who want to go even further, type “college essay” into Fiverr — an online marketplace to find freelancers to do just about anything for you — and dozens of responses pop up, offers ranging from ‘I will edit your college essay” to the more carefully worded “I will perfectly handle your college essay.” Other sites are less cagey, blatantly offering to sell you an admissions essay for less than $30.
“I think that is a terrible trend and a risky trend,” O’Connell says of buying your kid an entire essay.“Many students lack the access to resources to fully grasp the process itself, including the importance of the college essay,” she says. I learned my son is gay when I read his college essay How helicopter parents are ruining college students Kids heading to high school? “It’s quite common for [admissions] counselors or directors to provide free lectures-presentations on the college essay at local high schools or on their own college campuses.” And if kids just seems out of their depths, O’Connell has this advice: “I tell kids if you’re really, really struggling, you’re not telling the right story.” Sometimes they just need to be sent back to the drawing board. “My counseling training has taught me to ask lots of open-ended questions,” says Ethan Sawyer, who counsels students on essay writing and goes by “the College Essay Guy” online.Instead of asking, “Did your parents’ divorce make you sad? ” “I also teach students basic screenwriting structure, as it’s a pretty efficient way of not only showing them how stories work but also getting them to think visually,” Sawyer says.Kids have to sell themselves without sounding selfish or arrogant.Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of other kids are doing the same exact thing at the same exact time, all trying to stand out.Just 500 to 700 words long, the admissions essay is make-it-or-break-it for your average high school senior.They have to be unique but poignant, smart but not smart-alecky.And of course there’s the message it sends to your child — that you can buy their way into college (and who knows what after) and that Mom and Dad will take care of the tough stuff in life.“The longer-term ethical implications are important to consider as well,” James says.