harvard square essays reviews
What’s a kid to do who doesn’t have parents who both work full-time as writers and editors? Just run their essay through Microsoft grammar check and hope for the best? Good luck. The acceptance rate at the University of Chicago has dropped 81 percent in the last 12 years. It doesn’t take a Rhodes scholar to know that if you don’t put your best foot forward, you may as well not even bother.
To be sure, some of these services are exorbitantly expensive. Services like EssayEdge and TopAdmit can run you close to $200 for editing a single essay of fewer than 400 words. I’ve seen prices as high as $379 after various upsells. Word for word, that’s more than what my editor at WIRED makes. (Hi, Mike!)
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Harvard professor Harry Lewis, former dean of Harvard College and author of Excellence Without a Soul, is unmoved. “Is it okay to impersonate people and take the SAT on their behalf?” he says. Justifications for using an editor, he feels, flow “from an assumption that it’s better for a dishonest person who knows how to game the system to be admitted than an honest person who puts forward their own work and isn’t as deceptive…. To say that what they’re doing is completely fine, except that they don’t want to reveal what they’re doing? Horse manure.”
It’s December, the height of college application season, and students across Massachusetts are hunched over their desks, putting the finishing touches on their college application essay. Traditionally, that essay has been viewed as a chance to break loose from the drone of dry figures and bullet points, and get to a place where unadulterated personality and a compelling story are enough to put a hopeful over the top. Or at least that was the case when students were still writing their own essays, which, increasingly, they aren’t.