The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed nearly every aspect of our lives, including where and how college students receive their education. Many institutions have moved classes online to encourage social distancing and slow the spread of the Coronavirus, but for many teachers and students, this solution has also created new challenges.
For many students, pressures are numerous, including financial challenges, work-related stress, and anxiety over the pandemic. This, coupled with the new distance-learning environment, has increased the likelihood of cheating on exams and other coursework.
Cheating is on the rise nationwide, since the pandemic began, with students at notable institutions such as Georgia Tech, Boston University, and Purdue reporting large numbers of students cheating on online exams. Additionally, 93 percent of instructors believe students are more likely to cheat online than in person, according to a survey conducted by Wiley.
What Getting Caught Cheating Means for Students
If you've been accused of cheating in a college course, you're certainly not alone. At North Carolina State, more than one-fourth of the students in a single statistics class recently were subject to disciplinary action for cheating. At the University of Missouri, 150 students were recently caught cheating on an exam. The University of Missouri has nabbed large groups of students for cheating at least three times since classes shifted online last spring.
“Each of these instances occurred during large lecture classes” held online, says Liz McCune, a spokesperson for the university. To cheat, the students appear to have created a group chat in an app where they shared the answers to exam questions. Each incident of cheating at the University of Missouri included approximately 50 students. Currently, the university's Office of Academic Integrity is reviewing the allegations.
If you've been accused of cheating, it's important to know the penalties can be severe. Possible consequences for students who admit to cheating could include getting a zero on the exam, having their grade reduced, or being expelled from the university. In severe cases, cheating could have legal or financial consequences and negatively impact a student's for the rest of their academic career.
Accused of Cheating? An Attorney Can Help
If you have been accused of cheating by your college or university, you have the right to defend yourself and protect your academic record and your integrity. It is important to know your school's policy and your rights if you are accused. An experienced education lawyer can help you understand your case and craft a defense that is more likely to succeed.
The Lento Law Firm is here to help. Joseph D. Lento has fought for the rights of falsely accused students across the country for more than a decade. Our law firm has already adapted to the virtual realities of a post-COVID world. We can help guide you to the most beneficial outcome for your case. Call (888) 535-3686 to speak directly with experienced education lawyer Joseph D. Lento about your case.