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Harvard Freshmen are a Bunch of Cheaters


A recent survey produced results that fly in the face of Harvard’s emphasis on honesty and academic integrity.

(Image credit: The Crimson)

The Crimson reports that 10 percent of incoming freshmen admit to cheating on an exam before coming to Harvard. Seventeen percent say they’ve cut corners on a take-home. And 42 percent say they’ve cheated on a homework assignment or problem set. Check out the Crimson’s report here.

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The survey polled 1,300 students – 80 percent of incoming freshmen.

“After going public a year ago with their investigation into Harvard’s largest cheating scandal in recent memory, administrators went to great lengths to promote a culture of academic integrity in the Harvard community,” the report reads. “But the results of a Crimson survey of the Class of 2017 conducted last month suggest that some of the newest members of that community are already guilty of academic dishonesty.”

Recruited athletes were the worst offenders, the article continues. One-fifth of them say they’ve cheated on an exam. Compare that to just 9 percent of students who weren’t recruited to play varsity.

Overall, incoming freshman admit to more cheating than their Class of 2013 predecessors. 

Harvard, of course, isn’t alone. Cheating rates have soared over the past half-century. Or maybe it’s just that more people admit to it.

Thing is, society sometimes rewards it. 

“Nominally this cuts against recent administration emphasis on trying to promote a culture of honesty and academic integrity,” slate writes. “More realistically, Harvard tries to admit people who it thinks will grow up to be rich and successful and make the school even richer and more famous and aptitude at cheating is very much a form of aptitude that can lead to success and fortune in the real word.”

Sad, but true.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you ever cheated on a test? C’mon, be honest. We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jennifer Wadsworth
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