Take the zero: Consequences of academic cheating

Caroline Clayton
News Editor

By Kathleen Ellison

There are the occasional incidents of cheating in high school where if a student gets caught, they will either get a warning or detention. College, though, is a different story. It is much more serious.

According to standford.edu, “Academic cheating is defined as representing someone else’s work as your own. It can take many forms, including sharing another’s work, purchasing a term paper or test questions in advance, or paying another to do the work for you.”

College is where one prepares him or herself for the real world. Everything a student does during this time will be reflective of their work ethic.

cheatAccording to LHU’s student handbook, “An act of academic dishonesty involves fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in attempting to obtain academic credit or influence the grading process by means unauthorized by the course instructor or inconsistent with university policy.“

The university has six different sanctions for a student who is caught cheating: grade penalty, grade reduction, imposition of a failing ‘E’ grade, official reprimand, suspension and dismissal. LHU takes academic dishonesty seriously.

There is a lot more pressure that goes into getting good grades in college than in high school. During high school, the only pressures students have are their parents and peers. Once college starts, they have their future weighing on them.

Greg Keller, a junior studying communication, said “People resort to cheating because college is a high pressure situation and they want to get the good grades so they can get into graduate school or get the job they want. I don’t condone cheating, but I see where the pressure comes from.”

Sometimes students don’t even know they are cheating. Academic dishonesty comes in different forms. These are some of the more common ones.

  • Copying all or any part of someone’s homework
  • Looking at someone’s answers on a Scantron sheet during a test (wandering eyes)
  • Having notes written on your hand, on the desk or anywhere someone wouldn’t think to look
  • Using your phone during an exam to surf the web, text, use an app, etc.

The list goes on and on.

On top of five or six classes, students have a lot on their plates; staying involved in clubs, maintaining friendships or relationships, possibly having a job and making sure everything back home is okay. It is understandable that a homework assignment or preparing for a test might slip through the cracks. However, it is better to get a zero, or at least try, rather than cheat and risk getting kicked out of school.



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