Last year, a young woman made an appointment with Wow for help writing an application essay. She gave us a check and then asked us to write down her ideas and compose the essay for her. Writing, she explained, was not her thing.
Appalled, we returned the check and explained that we don't do that. It is cheating. For no charge, however, we explained the virtues of doing her own work, writing her own essay and experiencing her own journey. An hour later, she left, with her check in her pocket but no essay. We were pretty sure she would go elsewhere to get what she wanted.
"If you don't cheat a little, how will you get ahead?" she asked. "Everyone who is successful does it."
We thought of her again recently while reading story after story about cheating on standardized tests, plagiarism and the abundance of essay mills writing admissions essays and college papers for others on the cheap. You can read more about the unethical practice in a story by education writer Jay Mathews of the Washington Post, Bogus college essays graded F.
The people who make decisions about college admissions, and those who work with them, are onto the cheating thing big time. We can tell if someone other than a student with whom we are working wrote an essay. Admissions officers can tell too.
How? We know what the voice of a 17-year-old student sounds like. Your parents cannot pull it off, nor can a hired writer.
Instead, trust your voice. You have a story to tell. We have yet to meet a student who doesn't. Trust your story, and trust your voice. If you want help getting that story on paper, contact Wow. We have the tools and resources to teach you how to do it yourself.