To Edit or Not to Edit?
Everyone has their own writing style and while yours may not match up with your son or daughter’s, it doesn’t mean that the way they wield their pen or keyboard is wrong. So many times, parents – being adults and all – think their way of doing things is the only way but when it comes to college essays, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Admissions officers are more impressed with an essay that actually sounds like the student who wrote it…not the student’s parent.
Does this mean the essay is 100-percent hands-off to you? Not completely. If your child asks you to read it over and give them your thoughts, by all means do so but remember that you are their parent, not an editor for the New York Times (unless you are a parent AND an editor for the New York Times). If you notice any grammatical/spelling errors, definitely make a note of them or if you think a point can be condensed into one paragraph rather than three, offer a suggestion on how to make that part more concise.
As for the actual content, however, leave it alone: The more it sounds like your child would actually say the words on the page, the better the chances are that their essay will leave a positive lasting impression on the admissions committee.