Expulsion Can Trigger Other Harsh Impacts

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

A recent Air Force Times report describes the unfortunate case of twenty-two Air Force cadets expelled and hundreds of others placed on probation for cheating and plagiarism while studying from home during the pandemic. When the pandemic suddenly imposed remote instruction on college and university students across the country, it triggered widespread cheating scandals, not just at the Air Force Academy. The Air Force Times report indicates that Air Force cadets, like students elsewhere, used unauthorized study aids and exam materials, plagiarized others' work, and collaborated on assignments supposed to reflect individual work. Academic misconduct is always a concern in higher education. Colleges and universities must maintain academic integrity to meet accreditation standards and satisfy alumni, employers, and other constituents. At the Air Force Academy, since the cheating scandal broke, that emphasis has meant more ethics instruction, clearer academic rules, and more clarity and consistency that the Academy will punish cheaters.

Harsh Collateral Impacts

Getting kicked out of a college or university program, especially one so prestigious as the Air Force Academy but also any other school, is in itself hard, even devastating. Losing the ability to continue one's education, at least at the institution of your first choice, means a significant delay in learning and graduation, even if enrolling at another school is possible, which in some cases it is not. Expulsion for cheating can close doors to other schools and training programs. But the above story also illustrates that suspension or dismissal from your college or university can, depending on the grounds for discipline, also bring severe collateral impacts. For example, the Air Force Academy cadets may not have to pay back any school loans in the traditional sense, but they may have to enlist in military service, a payback of its own. The fallout from misconduct allegations can be severe as additional complications can arise for students at service academies and/or in ROTC at traditional colleges and universities when accused of breach of government contract and subject to disenrollment proceedings in cases involved those in ROTC.)  For other college and university students, consequences can be significant in other forms, and collateral impacts can include:

  • Loss of school housing, medical care, and transportation
  • Loss of a part-time or full-time job requiring continuing education
  • Loss of professional or vocational licenses and security clearances
  • Accelerated school loans
  • Loss of support from family members, friends, and mentors
  • Lost internships, job prospects, and career opportunities

What to Do When Facing Expulsion

You can see from these collateral impacts that expulsion just isn't an option if you can possibly avoid it. In that respect, the above Air Force Academy story teaches another lesson beyond the collateral impacts of expulsion. Not all of the cadets whom the Academy accused of cheating had done so. The Academy eventually dismissed charges against several. And most of those accused of cheating were able to limit their punishment to probation, not dismissal. If you face misconduct charges threatening your college or university dismissal, retain national student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm. Attorney Lento and his expert team have successfully defended hundreds of students nationwide. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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