College admissions is the rat race that many posh parents have been preparing their kids for since they were in utero. The fateful application essay is where teenagers are to use their words to convince an elite panel that they are, in fact, interesting people, and they tend to be even more pretentious than your average cover letter.
Admissions officers and coaches dished on the most memorably awful application essays they encountered on the job. Next time, these aspiring academics should try just bribing their way into the school by pretending to be rowing prodigies.
I worked in a very religious private schools admissions department for a few weeks, filing applications. The parents had to write a letter about their child and why the school would suit them.
I'll always remember the man who wrote three pages about how successful a business man he was, how he owned several businesses, how good he was at the school's main sport and then attached a large check to the last page. Not a word about the kid.