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Website buys, sells essays, alarms admissions officers
With college admissions requirements becoming more difficult and pressure to get admitted to college higher than ever, one small business has created an Internet service that claims to help "level the playing field."

Daniel Kaufman, a 28-year-old Williams College graduate, is president of IvyEssays, a company he started that currently sells copies of more than 1,000 essays used successfully by students to get into prestigious colleges, law schools and graduate programs.

Kaufman said his goal is to make some money while helping students who do not have access to other help with their essays.

The Website warns the essays are "for coaching, ideas and emulation; not plagiarism."

But the potential for abuse alarms some college admissions officials, who say plagiarism is easier now that essays are available online.

"It undermines a process that is based on trust," Michael Behnke, undergraduate admissions director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said.

On the Website, students can buy essays previously used by other students and sell their own essays as well.

Kaufman said a typical business school package containing 35-40 essays would cost around $50. Law school packages are $20, and customers receive their essays within hours after ordering.

IvyEssays also purchases essays, giving $50 for undergraduate essays and $75 for law school personal statements. In addition, business school essays sell for $100.

Source: The Daily Universe, Feb. 27.

This item appeared in the News section of the April 4, 1997 issue.

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