Last month, I published "30 Colleges, 30 Collegewise Guides to Getting In"
on this blog. I gave away a lot of advice about how to approach the
application essays for each college, and I even included samples of
what a good response might sound like.
It should go without
saying that you shouldn't lift those responses and use them yourself.
In fact, you shouldn't lift responses from anyone.
But you really shouldn't plagiarize sample essays from the college's own website like this applicant did at the University of Virginia. Wow.
I know the pressures of college admissions. I know how hard kids work and how badly you want to go to your chosen schools. But please, don't be that kid they describe here. Don't be the kid whose essay gets passed
around the office for a laugh and then gets called out on the school's
This applicant deserved what he got. If you think you deserve better (I'm sure you do), make sure your essays are your own. You've worked too hard and it's just not worth the risk.