A friend of mine is looking for undergraduate or graduate students in the US to proof-read college admissions essays from high school students back in my home country. There will be pay, but the proof-reader can also do it pro bono. Given that the students are not native English writers, "proof-reading" means more than spell-checking, and more like writing coach.
I have always felt torn about this. If I help a student, doesn't it make it unfair to others? This is especially serious because in college admissions essays, the story and the voice of the essay matter a great deal. In contrast, paid proof-reading of graduate dissertation is much more justified, because the make-or-break factor is the scientific substance, not the prose.
On the other hand, perhaps this a trivial matter compared to all the other unfairness that the admission process entails e.g. test prep, going to a good high school, or even being born to a better parents.
Thus, I want to ask how admission officials think about this? And does the argument change in any way if pay enters the equation?