Is it ok to have someone proofread your essay?

Application Process

Our counselors answered:

Is it ok to have someone proofread your essay?

Rod Bugarin
Former Admissions Officer Columbia, Brown, and Wesleyan University

Is it ok to have someone proofread your essay?

Here is my video response to the question.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Is it ok to have someone proofread your essay?

Yes, in fact I suggest that you have someone proofread it. Proofreading means to search your writing for errors--typographical, grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures


YES. YOU should proofread your essay at least twice. A trusted friend should proofread your essay. Perhaps a teacher should proofread your essay. It is absolutely fine to have those you trust give you advice, as long as YOU are doing the writing!

Tyler Burton
President Burton College Tours

Do not lose your voice.

Presenting a well written and grammatically correct essay is a key component to your college application. Your essay needs to be error free. When you select your proof reader politely ask them to help you with proof reading, but not re-engineering your essay. Be sure that your writing is formal. You are not submitting a text message. Use capitalization, punctuation and paragraphs. Do not use words that you would not normally use in an essay. Admissions readers will know if you have pulled out the thesaurus to alter every other word. A common mistake that international students make is allowing someone else to write their essay for them. This practice is viewed as a poor choice by American admissions officers and they are able to tell if the essay was written by the student. Students who submit false essays will not be admitted. Trust in your abilities to write a beautiful essay.

Corey Fischer
President CollegeClarity

Is it ok to have someone proofread your essay?

Yes, and it is expected, just as it is expected that the student will seek guidance when in college (this is what college Writing Centers are for). The proofreader can offer suggestions, but should not be writing/rewriting the essay. It always needs to be the students work and voice.

Janelle Braverman
Educational Consultant Independent University Advisors, LLC

Is it ok to have someone proofread your essay?

Definitely! Ask someone you trust to be meticulous, critical, but supportive of your original message. This is your work! Caution: don't ask too many people. Too many cooks in the kitchen can become stressful and confusing.

Cheryl Millington

Is it ok to have someone proofread your essay?

Yes, it is okay to have someone else proofread your essays. In fact, it’s encouraged to ensure that your essays will be typo free and grammatically correct. However, the key is to proofread, not have someone write them for you. You do want the essays to sound like you; it should be your voice. There should be some consistency between the essays and interviews.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Is it ok to have someone proofread your essay?

You better, and make sure they're an expert in grammar or someone with vast experience like one of us!

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder

Is it ok to have someone proofread your essay?

Ys. I mean Yes. It is ok to have someone proofread your essays. Proofreading, however, is not the same as editing or rewriting. The essay must be yours and in your voice. Yet there is no excuse for spelling or grammar mistakes. So have a trusted teacher or friend (ideally not a parent), proofread the essay for you. That can make a huge difference as application readers have little patience for sloppily or carelessly written essays.

Heather Tomasello
Writing Coach The EssayLady, LLC

Is it ok to have someone proofread your essay?

I'm biased, because that is what I do for a living! But I talk to admissions officers as well, and they always inists that students should have SOMEONE ELSE read their essays! Another set of eyes helps catch errors and not just the grammatical kinds. My theme as the Essay Lady is, “Your words, only better.” I don’t write essays for students. Not only is this plagiarism, it’s actually very unfair to both you and your prospective college(s). They want to get to know you, not me! I try to help students take their own essays and make them more clear, concise, and compelling. Whenever I make suggestions for changes or revisions, I always keep that student’s own voice in mind. I would not advise sending in an essay without having someone proof it first.