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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.
(“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?
The employees who spoke to The Daily Beast often worked for companies with similar approaches to essay writing.
For most, tutors would Skype with students early on in the application process to brainstorm ideas.
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.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.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.We’ve also had problems in the past with students asking for corners to be cut.”Another consultant who worked for the same company and later became the assistant director of U. operations told The Daily Beast that while rewriting was not overtly encouraged, it was also not strictly prohibited.“The precise terms were: I was getting paid a lump sum in exchange for helping this student with this Common App essay and supplement essays at a couple universities.But not long after she matriculated, the tutor said she reached back out to him for help with her English courses.“She doesn’t know how to write essays, and she’s struggling in class,” he told The Daily Beast.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 of the scheme broke, critics rushed to point out that celebrity parents like Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman didn’t need to break the law to game the system.