Recently, we wrote about the rise of “college admissions agents” in China. In China, these agents often write essays for students or have students select their college essay from a stack of options. They receive commissions for sending students to various universities in the U.S. They rarely if ever have any experience in United States college admissions and the vast majority of the college consultants in China seem to have no ethical standards.
In a piece in the Global Business section of the “New York Times,” writer Dan Levin profiled one of these very companies, a company founded by a Berkeley grad with no apparent experience in college admissions — other than applying to college himself. The poor, ungrammatical writing on the company’s website may give you an indication that this company should not be helping students with college essays. They can’t write themselves!
Perusing the company’s website, numerous profiles of “master instructors” are listed. Here’s an example of one: “Cheryl is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University, where she was the vice president of the school’s English honor society. Her other experiences working with young people include volunteering as a tutor for underprivileged middle graders, working at a summer camp, and volunteering as a soccer coach.” Soccer coach? Vice president of a college club while she was in college? And Azusa Pacific University isn’t exactly a prestigious university in the United States! If the “master instructors” have as little experience as Cheryl, imagine the experience of the other instructors!
The “New York Times” piece also profiled another consulting company in China which “has offices across China and charges clients an average of 500,000 renminbi for writing clients’ essays, training them for the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and providing career guidance. ‘The students just supply their information and we do all the work,’ said one representative, who requested anonymity to protect his job.” They admit they write the essays for the students!
Levin, Dan. “Coaching and much more for Chinese students looking to U.S.” New York Times. 26 May 2011. Web. 26 May 2011.