Instead, they rely on experience, intuition and the honor system. James Arthur Hogue, a serial impostor, got into Princeton University in by posing as a self-educated ranch hand. He ran on the track team and was admitted to an exclusive eating club before being unmasked. Short of outright fraud, popular culture has glorified the hardship story in college admissions, persuading many students to make it an essential part of their application.
The Common Application asks students to certify that they are telling the truth, but does not try to independently confirm that they are.
College admissions advice for students, parents, and counselors
It is up to colleges to take that extra step, said Daniel Obregon, a spokesman for the Common Application. Some universities require students to sign a sworn statement that they are telling the truth, under pain of prosecution. But officials admit they are not seeking to be law enforcement. Mainly, officials and counselors said, they look for inconsistencies. Do standardized test scores and grades match? Do certain words and phrases in an essay jump out as being in the vocabulary of an adult rather than a teenager? And they depend on high school counselors to give them honest appraisals of students who are applying.
As at Landry, the officials said, it is often the adults, not the young people, who have the temerity to manipulate the application process.
Can you lie in your college essays? Will they verify?
Hunt, the essay consultant, said. Jim Rawlins, director of admissions at the University of Oregon, said that he always looked at essays with a grain of salt, but that checking extracurricular activities was rare. It's your job as an applicant to find that something that's worth writing about. Everyone has a story about themselves that's worth telling. Colleges know that it won't always be easy to come up with a topic but that's sorta the point in my opinion ; they want to see that you can come up with something interesting about yourself. If you don't have the ability to figure out what to write, then maybe you don't belong at said college.
Sure you can stretch the truth, but that's just taking the easy way out.
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The essay is a chance for you to show adcoms who you are aside from test scores and your GPA They're not going to check, but do not lie. It's supposed to be challenging and honest. Something unique to you, whether a relationship with someone close to you, or the stuff you keep in a bedside table, or working a peculiar job, or creating your favorite food, or some personal quirk - that's what belongs in an essay. The stuff that nobody else can say about themselves.
Honesty and integrity
I can't think of many circumstances where your life is so boring you have nothing real to write about. People can write essays about literally anything if they are good enough writers.
If you ever think you have no good topic ideas, just remember that I got into a college once with an essay about Shrek and my onion allergy because I had nothing else to write about and it was 3 hours before the deadline. They don't do it to catch you in a lie. They do it to make sure they have accurate information.
So sure, it's possible that you could claim to be a National Merit finalist and the college would never know. You could claim to have played two years of varsity soccer when you only played one, that you did 50 hours of community service you didn't really do, or that you've never been suspended from school when, in fact, you were suspended once as a freshman.
A college might never find out.
Truth vs lie essay
If you lie on your college application and a college finds out—no matter what the lie is or how they find out—that's it. You're not getting in. And it wouldn't be unheard of for colleges to tell your other colleges what you did.
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Colleges know that kids who are willing to take that risk are more likely to do things like cheat on a test or plagiarize a paper. So the risk dramatically outweighs any potential reward. And when you sign your college application, you're signing a formal document stating that all of the information is true to the best of your knowledge. So if you get caught, forget it.