According to the JoongAng Daily, college admissions in South Korea are basically a racket:
“Sungkyunkwan, Hanyang and Kyung Hee universities, which took spots 3, 7 and 9 in the rankings, respectively, skip interview sessions. In doing so, professors cannot orally verify what applicants say they’ve accomplished in their earlier years.
Another problem is that admissions consultation companies prey on these weak points by ghostwriting cover letters in return for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of won.
‘The kernel is to stand out from the bunch,’ said one CEO, when asked how consulting agents forge cover letters. But the trick is to hide the lies by ‘reeling off a variety of stories, to the point where verification is impossible.’”
So, not that much different from America, basically.