dont’ mess…admissions version

Admissions officers can provide real insider tips and level the playing field for the people who most need it. First, we can require students to disclose whether they received any assistance in preparing their applications. You might think that students would just lie, but applicants’ neuroses about jeopardizing their chances of admissions are as effective as sodium pentothal: In the six years I’ve been asking this question on my school’s application, I’ve received confessionals detailing everything from proofreading help from Uncle Bob to writing assistance provided by fellow students, college counselors, and consultants. And if they do lie? Well, I don’t want to give away my methods and sources, but the Internet is quite helpful when it comes to verifying applicant information. (It helps that I’m also a former FBI agent.)

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