From The Boston Globe:=
College administrators say that intense pressure to gain acceptance to selective schools has compelled parents to turn to high-priced essay editors and coaches.
“The euphemism we use is polished,” said Parke Muth, an admissions dean at the University of Virginia. “If you’re paying someone that much money, there shouldn’t be fingerprints. But some essays have that sheen, that lemony-fresh smell that makes you wonder.”
Outright plagiarism usually sticks out like a sore thumb, and suspicions can often be confirmed with a Google search. But detecting the helpful hand of a parent, guidance counselor, or writing coach, even for admissions officers who have read thousands of personal essays, takes a keen eye.