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Lying on Application

PrincetonBalla10PrincetonBalla10 Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
edited August 2008 in College Admissions
I was talking to my friend about the common application, and I could tell that he was really exaggerating his actual accomplishments in order to make himself look better. This got me thinking. How do colleges know if you are lying or not? For example, my friend would put that he was the President of a club, when he was really the VP. He would aslo put that he was a district wrestling winner when he was really the sub-district winner. Do colleges really know if you are lying?
Post edited by PrincetonBalla10 on

Replies to: Lying on Application

  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 21,090 Super Moderator
    I think that it is a sad state as to both the sheer competitiveness of the college admissions process and the slippery slopes that some young people are willing to entertain (ethics be damned and there is no right way to do something you know is wrong) in order to get in to college that this "hypotheitical" question regarding the veracity of the application gets asked so much.

    Most of the things that students "embellish" about (being president vs. VP of a club) are thing that are not going to matter to the admissions committee one way other, while other things that may matter (example: being a district wrestling winner) are easy to look up (especially if this student wasn't being recruited for the sport).

    Your friend needs to remember that he must sign his application attesting that all information in the application is true. Misrepresentation (even after admissions) is grounds to have your admissions rescinded or to have you dismissed once you are enrolled. If the misrepresentation is found out after you graduate, it would be grounds for having your degree rescinded.

    I think that friend should also look at the bigger picture and much further; should he decide to do anything that requires a background check (working for the government, getting security clearance, trying to get admitted to the bar), his "embillishments" could come back to bite him when he least expects it.
  • PBaileyPBailey Registered User Posts: 676 Member
    ^: Seconded, with emphasis on IT DOESN'T MATTER. Colleges don't care about the difference between a President and a VP.

    Furthermore, many colleges do random fact checks. Woe to him if he gets selected.
  • Titan124Titan124 Registered User Posts: 385 Member
    I haven't met a single person who hasn't exagerrated something on the common app.
  • angelican0tangelican0t Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    Agree that if it matters they can (and probably will) check up on it.
    I believe you sign something agreeing that everything on your application is true- it would be a complete nightmare to be accepted to your dream school and then be rescinded because you lied.
  • zoaxanthellaezoaxanthellae User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 846 Member
    "I haven't met a single person who hasn't exagerrated something on the common app."

    There's a difference between rounding 96 community service hours to 100 and claiming you won district in a sport when you did not.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    "And, in the highly selective schools like Yale, padding on the resume hurts. Ms. Dahl said many applicants state that they were president of their class or captain of the soccer team when they were co-president or co-captain.

    "In isolation," she said, "such self-aggrandizement is not enough for us to reject the application, but it will raise a question about the student. It's bothersome. Let's just say it doesn't endear them to us."

    Or things like failing to report all S.A.T. scores, instead of just the highest one. "For example," [Yale admissions dean] Ms. Dahl said, "a number of applicants fail to report a low test score when our directions on the application instruct the student to report all scores."

    "On the other hand," she said, "when they self-report a poor test score we say, 'Isn't that nice he told us.' It makes the student look nicely honest. We like that."

    Breaking the early-decision application rules is another common offense. Applicants for early-decision are supposed to apply to only one school. Some cheat and apply to more, Ms. Dahl said.

    "If they're irresponsible, we react," she said. "We let them know they didn't play by the rules. And then we withdraw their names from the early-decision group."

    Despite a generally trusting approach to applicants, the highly selective schools say they take common-sense precautions to prevent deception. They require original copies of all letters of recommendation. Transcripts of grades must bear the embossed seal of the student's secondary school. And S.A.T. scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency.

    When asked if the process were vulnerable to deception, Mr. Wrinn of Harvard would say only: "With any application, we rely on the integrity of the process."

    Ms. Dahl said that her office sends out postcards to some of the writers of letters of recommendation to say thanks. "We hope people will respond if they never wrote any such letter," she said. "If there's a whiff of anything funny, we get right on the phone. We have conversations with a great many school guidance counselors."

    "If we're suspicious," Mr. Stetson said, "we'll go to the school and ask if that's really a valid writing sample, or whatever."
    Bogus Candidates Sometimes Slip Through the College Admissions Screen - New York Times
  • zoaxanthellaezoaxanthellae User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 846 Member
    ^ See, colleges usually like honesty in an app
  • Hanajima22Hanajima22 Registered User Posts: 370 Member
    Oh, I really hate that. It honestly didn't occur to me to exaggerate on my apps, so imagine my surprise and dismay when I came here and found out that a lot of people do it. >.>

    Colleges aren't likely to catch on, unless of course they noted a discrepancy between his rec letters and his self-reported accomplishments.

    Still, in my opinion, things like that won't change his chances too much, so don't worry about it.

    As Northstarmom showed, however, if he gets caught at it the colleges won't be particularly enthused.
  • xbankxxbankx Registered User Posts: 135 Junior Member
    Don'y exaggerate or lie anything about your EC. Its not worth it trust me. I made a mistake on the number of hours for a club(i intended to do a number of hours for a club sicne I was in the club at beginning of year so I put on my collegeap but forgot to sign up for the club in my second semster, minor mistake? yes. but it makes me feel bad because i felt that i cheated which I dont do on anything except HW and games i paly on my DS lol)
  • Newjack88Newjack88 Registered User Posts: 1,839 Senior Member
    Something like this wouldn't even help him get in...

    Anyway, it's pretty risky to lie about ECs. It's easier to get caught lying than you would think. People writing recommendation especially a GC will ask students about their extracurricular involvement. If a GC hears more than one kid claim to be president of a club or a kid claim he is a district champion yet the school's newspaper never mentioned it, he or she may catch it.

    That said, who cares? If a kid is dumb enough to lie on his or her college application and risk getting caught even though he or she probably won't gain from lying, let them be stupid and do it. Saying you're the president of a club when you're really the vice-president isn't going to get you into Harvard unless you have amazing everything else in the first place.

    I doubt anyone would be dumb enough to lie about something that actually mattered like claim they were an Intel Finalist.


    There is a reason why so many kids get away with exaggerating things on their college applications. It's because most of the time it doesn't matter. That said, I personally didn't exaggerate in my applications because I would feel guilty if I did so. However, I do know a few kids who did exaggerate, but you know what? I don't care.
  • Tzar09Tzar09 Registered User Posts: 854 Member
    school (most notably the UCs) do audits of their applicants (the UCs audit 10%) and if you get caught "exaggerating" thats an auto rejection
This discussion has been closed.