Can you really pay to have a stunning list of accomplishments? Can you buy your way into a top notch college? Some parents really think so, and are really trying to do so. But if your successes are merely manufactured and packaged nicely by experts, do they reflect your capabilities?
The simple answer is no. If that groundbreaking published article on organic chemistry wasn’t written by you, then the credit shouldn’t go to you. But as an Asian American living in California, where tutoring and college prep institutions are as common as fast food restaurants, such dishonesty is commonplace, and even to be expected.
Over summer, I interned at a wilderness summer camp located on an island. I was unfortunate enough to work with a fellow who was close to my age, but was one of the laziest, least ethical people who I have ever met. For the sake of anonymity, I’ll refer to him as “Z”. "Z" spent his time lounging on the beach and taking pictures- I had to cover for his shift, give campers instructions, and run back to also work my own shift- all while he was acting like a little child, taking absolutely no responsibility. I took on more work than I should have- I cooked in the camp’s kitchen, swept floors, and even made schedules and scavenger hunts. "Z", on the other hand, only took out the trash once, after being humiliatingly scolded to do so by numerous adults.
However, “Z” will have a glowing college application. Why? His mother paid for it. She hired alumni from various top universities and college specialists to fabricate “activities” and “accomplishments” to season his college applications. Recently, she gloated that his article and invention had been published and patented! How? She paid the expert who actually created the invention to give "Z" permission to publish it under “Z’s” name.
Sure, “Z” has good grades, but that’s about it. “Z”, on numerous occasions, has made extremely rude and inappropriate remarks towards his mother, and to other females. He told kids at summer camp that environmental conservation was a “waste” because he could “make so much money if he built on protected lands.” I, as well as others have observed that he is often selfish and inconsiderate. Colleges simply don’t look for lazy, immoral people like him. However with the help of college consultants and hired college application “polishers” he might just go on to seem like the person that Ivy League schools seek.
Yes, I understand that parents want to see their kids success. But if someone else did the hard work for your kid, is that really their success?
Let’s just say that “Z” makes it into an excellent university. He can lie to admissions with a touching essay that wasn’t written by him, but he can’t lie to himself. Was he accepted because he was truly an excellent scholar? Or did he fake his way in?
There is only so much you can do to hide the holes in your character. No amount of fabrication can cover flaws in your actions. College prep experts can only help you pretend to be competent.
It’s an awful, unfair advantage that some unethical students utilize. But for the rest of us, it’s a call to be genuine in our actions and intentions, and strive to be even better, so the truth behind the words in our college applications will shine through.