I was self-educated at home throughout my entire K-12 years and rose from virtually nothing to attend Bentley University, a fairly prestigious business school. I was a National Merit Scholar and a President's Scholar. Despite never having been in a classroom environment before, I adapted quickly to the new environment and excelled, earning a 4.0 GPA in every single course my freshman year.
In the fall 2008 semester (my first semester at Bentley), I needed money to pay my bills and unfortunately made an unwise decision to generate this income by writing papers for other students and charging fees. Throughout November and December of that year, I wrote 8 papers and sold them to other students. Though I had never taken the courses that the papers were for, the papers were given good grades. Some papers were short and immaterial, while others represented the cumulative projects for their respective courses.
The paper writing business ended with the school semester and I did not resume my unethical activities once the spring semester began. My actions of the past fall semester were not the least bit on my mind through the beginning months of the year. However, in April, a full 5 months after I stopped writing papers, I received an unexpected e-mail informing me that I had been caught and must report immediately to the Deans. Despite a very hard fought case, the judicial process was not favorable to me and the board expelled me permanently, a decision upheld by the Provost on appeal. The board, however, did not expel any of my clients. Two were suspended for a semester, while the others were given meager sentences of community service.
I was allowed to keep all credits I earned at Bentley, but my official transcript shows "Academic Dismissal." I enrolled in a local community college this fall and am taking general education courses to build credits. I applied to two other schools as a transfer student in the spring but was denied admission (they both were fairly elite colleges, to be clear). I will continue community college in the spring, but need a four year university to attend after that.
It seems to me that this one mistake negates all my other accomplishments and bars me from the world of higher education permanently. I need to continue my education; I can't quit college. And I need a strategy to move forward so that I can do that. I am asking in this post for advice on what I should do to overcome this blemish on my record and proceed as quickly as possible. Specific questions that I need answered to are below. Any further advice is much appreciated.
1. What if I completely omitted my year at Bentley in future college applications and applied as if I was a freshman in Community College?
2. Is it possible to do the above without lying on the "Disciplinary History" section of most college applications, including the Common App?
3. What can I do to convince admissions that this was mistake is not indicative of my overall character?
To be clear, I never cheated personally. All of my perfect grades were earned with honor, and I maintaining my 4.0 GPA in Community College. I also have not been inactive outside the classroom. This past summer, I built from scratch and ran my own painting business, generated $100,000 in revenue and was responsible for the entire management of the company. I am continuing growing my business and expect to hire on new managers and grow the company to $600,000 in business the next summer. I was also a prominent member of my college's political organizations.
I have all the qualities of an ideal candidate, but this one looming obstacle is holding me back. Thank you for your help.