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Most college graduates would say that in order to make it to graduation day students have to put in a lot of hard work and dedication into classes whether they are relevant to students majors or not. However recent generations have found an unethical way to jump the hurdles in the race against A’s. As a matter of fact, Angelo Angelis stated in an ABC News article titled, A Crisis in America’s Schools – How It’s Done and Why It’s Happening, that half a dozen of his college students copied their work from a passage on the internet that was written by a class of fifth graders. Some may say that schools don’t enforce no cheating policies strictly enough, therefore students do not know that they are doing anything wrong. When in all actuality, Jason M. Stephens explains in a piece titled, Justice or Just Us? What to do about cheating, “Many students acknowledged that cheating is wrong but admitted they do it anyway, seemingly without much remorse.” To determine why students choose to put their life on the line by cheating I have read a few articles, interviewed college students from a few Texas universities, and watched a film about high school students who cheated. Throughout the following paragraphs I will display a couple of reasons why college students cheat followed my consequences they have faced as a result of their actions.
The outside pressure for students to succeed in everything they do is one of many reasons why students cheat. For example the ABC News article explains that pressure is high when students think about good grades. Spike, a high school student explains, “Grades can determine your future, and if you fail this then you’re not going on to college, you’re going to work at McDonald’s and live out of a car.” Like Spike said, if young people don’t do good in school, then they won’t graduate and move on to bigger and better things, and they will, as Dr. Tarpley, says almost every class “If you don’t go to class and study for tests you better get used to saying, Would you like fries with that?” Grades really do determine futures if someone graduate with honors they will have far more job opportunities than those who just pass by or flunk out. Students will be more inclined to cheat because they do not want to end up working retail or fast food all their life and living paycheck to paycheck with no wiggle room. Another group of individuals that can put a huge pressure on students’ shoulders are parents. In an interview, a Texas Tech Senior stated, “In high school I always made good grades so my parents did not have to continually remind me to do better. Then I entered college and my grades weren’t as high as they used to be, so my parents would always hound me to get higher grades. At the time I knew it was wrong to cheat but I didn’t realize the consequences would be as severe as they are I thought I would be like high school but I was wrong.” Parents are sometimes the most influential people in the lives of students and having their approval means the world to them. The last thing students want to do is disappoint their parents so will do whatever needs to be done to make sure their parents are satisfied; even if it means to cheat.
Just the simple fact that cheating can be tempting is another reason why students cheat in this day and age. A student may see another students paper isn’t being covered really well so they think, “Let me just compare our answers.” When in the end they change all their answers to match the “Smart student’s” answers. In conclusion, all of this happened because the uncovered answers tempted the student to “compare”. David Callahan says in Everybody Does It, “Growing temptations to cheat have been all the ore seductive given the trumpeted morality of the free market. If competition is good – if greed is good – then maybe questionable cutthroat behavior is good.” As he says if all of these things that are actually bad are good then maybe everything is good including “questionable cutthroat behavior”. In the film, Cheaters, the Steinmetz High School Academic Decathlon Team had many different tempting reasons to cheat such the mentality that everyone cheats so why not them, or the risk is worth the reward mentality. The thought if changing the Whitney Young’s winning streak was probably their main temptation. They wanted to flip the cards and change the system by winning. Because of that temptation the students cheated at the state competition and got caught. However, their consequences weren’t very harsh. In their case, the risk was worth it because they didn’t really lose much in the end. This shows that really anything can tempt students to cheat, whether it be in school or a state competition some students will be tempted to cheat in one way or another, now if they listen to those temptations is the real test.
In conclusion, there are many reasons students cheat, but it is evident they the two main reasons are temptation and pressure. However, it is shown that a lack in consequences in high schools is another reason why students think it is normal to cheat. In the real world it is more evident that there is a lack in consequences, with the amount of people who skid by the judicial system by lying or cheating or with the people who receive little to no punishment even though they just cheated themselves around so many corners. When students see the amount of punishment these adults receive it makes them want to get into this kind of work themselves. Who wouldn’t want to spend a couple months in jail when they could come out to hundreds of thousands of dollars? Personally I wouldn’t but some people in this world would. In the film, the students at Steinmetz didn’t receive much punishment either, other than some bad press which was temporary they were able to live the rest of their life normally. Most of them moved on to great universities and for the rest of them they moved on with their life without any complications. In college, on the other hand, the consequences are more severe. As the Texas Tech senior was saying earlier, he didn’t realize that the consequences were as serious as they are. That same student then proceeded to tell me that his professor ended up failing him and since then he has been on Academic Probation for the rest of his time at TTU. This means that if he does one more thing wrong he will be kicked out of school and that will be put on his permeant record making it harder for him to get into another school. So not only does he have an F on his transcript he also is being put in to a glass house and is always being watched. If students continue to cheat even though they are conscious of what they are doing we can infer that our future will be filled with fraud and scammers along with a lot of very lazy people because they would rather cheat to get by than actually do the work themselves. Also because of this the people who do all the work will not get any of the credit for what they do instead all the “Cheaters” will get the credit. To sum it up cheating will always continue to happen because you will never be able to get rid of the credit hungry rebels out there.
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