Talk

Advanced search

Would you pay for personal statement support? How much would you pay? What would you expect?

(88 Posts)
DirtyDennis Thu 04-Apr-19 11:56:13

I'm setting up a side business of tutoring but have had a few people ask whether I'd offer UCAS personal statement support too.

It got me thinking that it'd probably be quite a good idea but I'm not sure how big the market is. So my questions are;
- would you pay for one-to-one personal statement support for your child?
- what would you expect to pay?
- what would you expect for that?
- what would you expect the qualifications of the person providing the support to be?

Really appreciate any thoughts. Thanks smile

OP’s posts: |
Romax Thu 04-Apr-19 11:58:00

No I wouldn’t pay

I would expect the school my child is at to support with this process

Squeezle Thu 04-Apr-19 12:06:10

I think the personal statement for different subjects would need to be quite specific to that subject. And possibly quite specific to the university applied for.
My first question would be 'what experience do you have of personal statements?'
Unless you have been a careers advisor in a 6th form (or what ever the modern day equivalent is) I can't see you getting many customers.

DirtyDennis Thu 04-Apr-19 12:09:11

@Romax I totally get your point. For me there are three issues though:
- schools don't really have the time to sit down with individual kids and give them very detailed feedback on their statements.
- schools don't always give out good advice on personal statements.
- some schools have very few of their students applying to university (and particularly to competitive universities/courses) so might not have the expertise.

OP’s posts: |
DirtyDennis Thu 04-Apr-19 12:12:12

Thanks for you comment @Squeezle I've been the admissions tutor for a very competitive programme at an RG university for 7 years so I've read thousands and thousands of personal statements grin

OP’s posts: |
OKBobble Thu 04-Apr-19 12:29:15

If the schools are the types you mention then it is possible that parents might not recongnise the importance of PS and therefore not know they even require such a service.

If your experience is related to one particular RG would you be more inclined to gear it towards their style.

On the basis the PS is checked for plagiarism how would you avoid this?

It is not always known which unis actually do read PS anyway.

Tiramisu1 Thu 04-Apr-19 12:35:46

Exactly. If more and more Personal Statements are not the work of the student alone, how much worth are they to Unis?

Bankofenglandfiver Thu 04-Apr-19 12:37:04

I wouldn’t pay for this at all.

VanCleefArpels Thu 04-Apr-19 12:45:23

No wouldn’t pay - engaged parents who would even know about such a service would, almost by definition, be perfectly capable of helping edit, proofread etc the PS. Most of those parents will also be aware that most Unis for most courses don’t even read the PS. You could never advise what is “required” in a PS for each subject so your advice would necessarily be very general in terms of style, tone etc. And as pp has said you would not be able to screen for plagiarism. I think in your position I’d be happy to help my tutees if asked but not sure it’s worth a separate arm of the business. You could charge what you normally charge for a session but set one session aside for looking at UCAS form.

Tiramisu1 Thu 04-Apr-19 12:48:47

Most of those parents will also be aware that most Unis for most courses don’t even read the PS

Is this true? Can admissions tutors confirm this?

DirtyDennis Thu 04-Apr-19 12:52:28

@OkBobble That's an issue we face across the sector - the students who need the most help with PS, don't realise they need help, and only seek help when it's too late. Sigh.

IME the PS can be the clincher on competitive programmes. For under-subscribed programmes, they're not read. But for over-subscribed programmes they can be read in great depth.

I really appreciate the feedback on here. My thoughts were originally that no-one would pay for a PS service (for all the reasons you've said) but a few people I've talked to about the tutoring business I'm setting up where very clear that they absolutely would've paid for this. confused

I'm leaning towards something like that @VanCleef has suggested, making clear I can help with PS but as part of a normal tutoring job rather than as a separate arm of the business.

OP’s posts: |
Romax Thu 04-Apr-19 12:53:12

Or offer your services to schools / colleges?

cathyandclare Thu 04-Apr-19 12:53:28

There is a woman who does this in our area and she is inundated with bookings. People have to book her well in advance, especially for the early October applications.

A friend used her and apparently she meets with a pupil and they talk through everything they have achieved/read/etc and she makes a plan of how to weave it all together coherently. The pupil then writes the statement and then they review it. I have no idea how much it is, maybe a couple of hundred plus (but I could be imagining that). Our kids did it themselves, but we had a friend who does admissions who checked them.

If a sixth form is clueless and unhelpful, then employing someone to provide guidance and review stuff that the applicant has written themselves could be useful.

DirtyDennis Thu 04-Apr-19 12:54:52

@Tiramisu1 For under-subscribed courses, it's very unlikely that PS gets read. If the student is around the grade tariff then they'll likely be offered a place. For under-subscribed courses, there might be something that doesn't quite add up in a students' application so we'd read the PS to see if the student sheds any light on this.

For over-subscribed courses, the PS is more important as you'll be faced with hundreds of equally excellent applications (in terms of grades). So, to distinguish, we'd go to the PS.

OP’s posts: |
DirtyDennis Thu 04-Apr-19 12:55:41

A friend used her and apparently she meets with a pupil and they talk through everything they have achieved/read/etc and she makes a plan of how to weave it all together coherently. The pupil then writes the statement and then they review it. I have no idea how much it is, maybe a couple of hundred plus (but I could be imagining that). Our kids did it themselves, but we had a friend who does admissions who checked them
That's really interesting @cathyandclare

OP’s posts: |
Bohemond Thu 04-Apr-19 12:59:36

I think it is appalling that education has come to this. I appreciate that the market has changed but this is just another way in which well funded children are able to game the system.
Maybe to make up for tipping the scales you could offer the same service for free to children that cannot afford to pay.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 04-Apr-19 12:59:55

schools don't really have the time to sit down with individual kids and give them very detailed feedback on their statements

Really? My ds's 6 the form have been excellent,they cover this in their Future Planning lessons. It's worrying that's not the case everywhere. They do exactly what the private tutor upthread is described as doing.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 04-Apr-19 13:02:10

There is so much on line about this so even if the school hadn't been helpful I don't think there's a news to pay for someone to do it for you.

MariaNovella Thu 04-Apr-19 13:02:37

I’ve done this for a long time - UCAS for over a decade, MBAs about twenty years ago (no longer do these as the market has matured) and I also do Bocconi, IE etc. However, I do this for students applying from outside the UK whose mother tongue is not English and whose parents/schools are almost entirely unable to help.

PCohle Thu 04-Apr-19 13:04:46

I think the sort of students/parents who would pay for this service would expect you to write the PS for them.

If a student requires, and receives, considerable outside input into their PS then how useful a tool are they for universities really?

MariaNovella Thu 04-Apr-19 13:08:04

I think the sort of students/parents who would pay for this service would expect you to write the PS for them.

This is rarely the case, IME. Expectations of what PS support entails vary wildly and you do have to adapt to the applicant.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 04-Apr-19 13:10:05

If you're about to go off and do a degree I think the very least you should be able to do is put a PS together surely? I completely understand having help if you're applying from outside the UK.

MariaNovella Thu 04-Apr-19 13:11:05

I think I agree, DameDiazepam!

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Thu 04-Apr-19 13:12:24

If my child were not capable of doing their own PS, I would not think them capable of going to university TBQH.

DirtyDennis Thu 04-Apr-19 13:16:31

I completely agree, it's very sad that HE has come to this but it has - it's a marketplace which, in some cases, is very very competitive.

You're right students should be able to put a PS together and most can but some courses have huge numbers of people (all with similarly excellent grades) all chasing one place. So, in these circumstances, it's important that the PS is perfect rather than just it being there IYSWIM

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »