Cheating in college is nothing new, but the pressure to do so is (“Just How Dishonest Are Most Students?” The New York Times, Nov. 13). There are several reasons why, but I believe that the No. 1 reason is that increasing numbers of students have an entitlement mentality.
The cost of a college degree keeps rising, creating the belief in students that they are customers. They’ve gone into heavy debt to get a degree and nothing is going to stop them from achieving their goal. If that involves cheating on final exams or term papers, so be it. The fact that some schools ask students to sign an honor code is evidence of how bad things have become.
I don’t see matters improving. In fact, they are only going to get worse as a degree becomes seemingly indispensable for a well-paying job.
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3 Replies to “Cheating makes a mockery of college education”
What’s the evidence that cheating is increasing? Not disagreeing, just wondering if it is actually increasing.
My recollection re the issue from back in the 1960s is that — at the schools I attended, at least — the penalties for being caught cheating were very severe + the severity of the penalties were an effective deterrent for most students. Possibly the exceptions were students who thought they would actually fail and be thrown out of school if they did not cheat — for them, the consequences of being caught cheating were no worse than the consequences of not cheating. There were very few such students.
If there is more cheating now, it’s possible that high schools and colleges have eased up on the penalties for students caught cheating. The pressure on school administrators to limit discipline that disproportionately impacts Black/Hispanic and/or low-income students might encourage school administrators to ease off cheating penalties, particularly if the Black/Hispanic and/or low-income students are more likely to be cheating (which seems reasonable if we assume that the Black/Hispanic and/or low-income students — on average — are more likely to have trouble meeting academic requirements). If so, this would be yet another adverse impact of relaxing standards in order to generate better ethnic/income numbers for an institution.
Labor Lawyer: The Varsity Blues cheating scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. Once these students are admitted, they are highly likely to continue their dishonest ways. Students today are under unprecedented pressure to get a degree. If that means cheating, so be it. The internet has made term papers available for a fee, and business is booming.
Labor Lawyer: On April 22, 14, the Huffington Post reported that about 75 percent of college students have admitted cheating. I believe the percentage has increased since then.