Has cheating been getting worse than it has before?

Throughout academic circles, the subject of cheating has been a well-known cultural taboo.

This cultural taboo is not affiliated with one’s racial and/or ethnic culture, but in reference to an academic taboo.

Within the culture of academia, honesty and sincerity within one’s work can be seen as paramount to a student or teacher’s success.

It is understood that an educational institution requires a student to have scholastic integrity, though, this also extends to pedagogical integrity.

When it comes to the subject of cheating, otherwise known as academic dishonesty, the teacher and the student are for the first time, on the same level.

If a teacher strays from their convictions and assists a student unfairly, this can have extremely detrimental repercussions. Likewise, if a student assists himself in an illegal manner, the same holds true. The difference between the teacher and the student lies within what the repercussions of cheating are.

Depending on a wide range of factors, teachers who engage in cheating often find themselves terminated or faced with life changing consequences such as suspension, and being reported.

As it pertains to the student, it depends on where they are in their academic career.

Within a K-12 education, the consequences of cheating are negative but the student will always be able to attend their educational institution. During this student’s collegiate and postgraduate education, the consequences of cheating are deleterious to one’s future career path which can extend to their life.

In other words, during this period, cheating is not tolerated and will result in the termination of their career.

For the previously aforementioned reason, statistics revolving around one’s academic integrity are minimal college wise but great in one’s high school education.

The reason for this appears to be due to a fear of consequences revolving around cheating in college. Therefore, it is clear that in order to know if cheating is prevalent in college, one must look at the students high school career as behavior tends to be linear.

According to David L. Jaffe, a professor from Stanford University, “cheating among high school students has risen dramatically during the past 50 years”.

This information implies that cheating amongst students who are about to enter their collegiate years has had a positive rise and is continually rising.

He then states that “cheating no longer carries the stigma that it used to” due to the fact that these students will do anything that they can to perform well in an effort to go to their college of choice.

The connection between cheating and attending college appear to be very close; it begs the question as to why this would end during the students collegiate years?

Cheating has always been prohibited, the only difference over academic years has been in the consequences of this act. So, if cheating has risen among high school students over the past fifty years, why would it stop during college if the rules of academic integrity have been ignored before?

The answer is that it has not, and cheating is in fact getting worse. Cheating is a growing epidemic and “between 75 and 98 percent of college students surveyed each year report having cheated in high school”.

The only difference between one’s collegiate education and their high school education appears to be the growing silence about academic dishonesty and it must be put to an end.