And they want it to make them sound unique without saying so directly. It's bizarre that at exactly the moment when it matters the most, students are asked to attempt a genre that requires vulnerability and insight, reflection on a slice of life.
While I don't think a college essay per se has to be part of a school curriculum (in fact it's often ruined that way), these skills are often not taught in the classroom.
And of course, the fact surprising perhaps only to the white people with their head buried in the colonial sand, is that people of color and poor people still have to earn — like, actually earn — their place at the table by working twice if not thrice as hard as everyone else.
By living, rather than assuming, their exceptionalism.
Truth is, this incident of bribery is reflective of a different problem, that has so many faces: why focus on elite schools? The entire admissions process goes best for those who enter with an open mind, not a fixed or pinched one.
It is most meaningful, and has the most integrity, for those who approach the writing and application in general with a sense that the world is big and life contains many twists and turns. And we owe them a world that makes that be true — thing’s will be OK, and not just for Wealthy Abigails.This produces some awkward conversations about affordability.However, I’ve had a tussle over finances with only one family.I work independently and in partnership with top educational non-profits.I began my business with the intention to treat the essay as the rite of passage it could and should be if we had our heads on straight about what we expect from adolescents, and what they need from us at this transitional moment in their lives. The finances of the college admissions industry racket are mind-boggling, and anxiety fuels what families will invest, if they have the choice.While I think Jia Tolentino previously exposed the problem of nebulous, white-washed admissions greed magnificently for Jezebel, my experience as a personal essay coach for years is very different than hers.I am white, and I work with students from all demographics, but still primarily young people of color, often young men, and often students whose families qualify as lower-middle or lower class.I want my students' essays to be so inarguably good, so To answer the biggest question on many people’s minds, I have never had a parent even come close to asking me to write the essay.And despite the rightful critique my boutique-services industry comes under, I find it deeply rewarding, not just for me, but for my students.Essay tutoring can cost anywhere from an hour to 0 an hour. But in truth, the kids I work with are rarely bloated themselves.Participating in this as a beneficiary can feel like bourgeois enterprise, and one that upholds all the pillars of race and class disadvantage that this country was built on, and that capitalism relies on. When I offer my coaching services as an independent business owner, I ask families to place themselves on a sliding scale of full fee to pro bono, and we build their customized support from there.