Do Colleges Report Essays?

For my transfer admissions college essay I wrote about my background and how I’ve been emotionally abused by my parents. I’ve had several of my friends look over it and they said it is really good. My problem is, are colleges required to report this? I’m out of state and have a sibling, I’m just worried they might call child services or my parents. However, as far as they know, they don’t know that I do have a sibling. On my FAFSA it just says that another dependent lives in my household and doesn’t know who or what this dependent is. I made sure that they can’t contact my parents. Unless they look them up on a website such as truepeoplesearch, all they have is where I live. Will the colleges report my essay? I’m just feeling uneasy on clicking the submit button and it took me a year to write.

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I’m sorry you are in such a tough situation. This is a great question and I don’t know the answer. I am guessing that if the abuse described warranted action, an AO might possibly contact the school guidance counselor to let them know the situation. @MYOS1634 any idea about this?

I know it’s taken you a long time to write your essay, but please ensure that the topic of the essay is you, and not the abuse. Colleges will want to feel secure knowing that if they admit you, you can succeed at their school. Without wishing to sound harsh, colleges don’t admit students because they feel sorry for them. It’s you applying to college, not your parents.

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As a sexual abuse survivor, I sympathize with you. When writing my essays I was very vague with certain details however I did make a note of it. Each of our Collective experiences in our lives impacts us for better or worse. Colleges want to see that you’re resilient despite some horrific challenges. They want to see that you won’t let those things define you. The abuse is a part of your story but not the whole story. Good luck

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@Tails07 No, do not worry. I don’t see an AO reaching out to Child Protection Services. Especially for emotional abuse. (Which, of course, is not to downplay it–that can be much worse than physical and I mean it when I say I understand.)

As a former AO, I didn’t get any training on that. It’s possible I might have reached out to a HS GC about ongoing physical abuse described in an essay. An AO definitely isn’t going to try and get in touch with your parents. And since you’re a transfer, I don’t see them worrying about this the same way as if you were a high schooler, or contacting your HS GC.

I think an easy way to assuage your concerns is to just put your essay in the past tense–an experience you went through, not one you’re currently dealing with. But again, I don’t see an issue here if you’re describing emotional abuse. Sounds like you’re doing OK though, and writing about things is an excellent way to get some of that ugly out of your system.


Thank you all very much for your advice and input! I looked through my essays and made a few changes. There shouldn’t be any reports with the changes I made and I only discussed about my parents a little bit. About 90% of the rest of my essay is about me.

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@Tails07 my daughter is also considering transferring. Did you use the common application to talk about why you would like to transfer or did you just write about your background? I am asking because there are some conflicting suggestions that one should use their common app essay to talk about why they want to transfer and modify it for each school before they submit it online. My daughter’s college counselor told her that the common application essay (even though it is as a transfer student) should just give background and that the school specific essay of why you want to transfer should address the actual transfer issue.

Im sorry to hear that. I'm not sure, but I think they cant report because it’s your data and they cannot use it without your confirmation.

Got into USC with my essay, but parents won’t let me attend… the irony.

Thanks for updating us. Where will you attend college, if you don’t mind sharing?

I don’t want to specify the name in case they’re swooping on here or in any time in the future, but its considered as the best 3-4th public university in the state, ranked 290-390 nationally, the campus is large but the campus seems nice virtually, has some nice shops and dining places on campus, and the dorms are like a hotel and has decent rankings on niche (food and dorms in particular were an A). My degree is accrediated by a particular main organization group and my major in particular is also accediated by the same group but globally. Extremely disappointed I won’t be able to attend a school like USC even though I feel I deserve a lot better than this… I’ll try to like it there when the time passes. I probably will, just can’t at the moment. Just know that university threapy counseling will be my frequent pit-stop and they offer 4-8 free sessions per semester lol

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