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Case of Academic Dishonesty, with regards to the Common Application and my Guidance Counselor

z6rqji2tz6rqji2t 2 replies1 threads New Member
I am a rising senior at my high school, and I plan to apply to my favorite colleges using the Common App. However, there is a throbbing pain in my life that will greatly hinder my chances of getting accepted to these colleges. Back in 1st semester Freshman year, I plagiarized a small assignment that had to do with book discussions, I received a zero on that assignment, and I had to sign a paper (that went into my school file) that said I acknowledge my academic integrity violation. No suspensions, detentions, or expulsions. I talked with my teacher about my offense and for the rest of freshman year, I worked extremely hard to change the image of myself as a cheater. From then on, I demonstrated a pattern of hard work, honesty, and excellent grades which was recognized by my teachers in Sophomore and Junior year. Presently, as college application season nears, I think back to the serious violation I committed in Freshman year and cannot stop thinking about how the colleges that I apply to will see this academic dishonesty and reject my application. I seriously do not want to handicap my strong chances by marking 'Yes' on the Common App section that has to do with the students' academic history, and by writing a supplemental essay which has to do with the cliched "I take responsibility for my mistakes". Do you think I can convince my guidance counselor to nullify my violation from three years ago and mark 'No' on the Common App if I try to convince her that I am an active citizen in my school, have no other academic violations, and gained the respect of my teachers from my time in high school?
Thank you
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Replies to: Case of Academic Dishonesty, with regards to the Common Application and my Guidance Counselor

  • WasatchWriterWasatchWriter 2432 replies96 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2015
    Do you think I can convince my guidance counselor to nullify my violation from three years ago and mark 'No'
    No one here can possibly know that. If you can muster the courage, suck it up and talk to your GC directly. I'm sure the idea is frightening, but it's the only way to know for sure.

    And you need to be certain. If there's a blot on your record, then ideally your GC needs to explain that you've grown since then. If the GC is not willing to do that, then you need to use the extraneous circumstances section of the Common App (I forget what it's exactly called) to do it yourself.

    But don't go into this thing believing it can be erased. Maybe your GC will do that. More likely, you'll have to confront it together. You and the GC need to be a team. The way you wrote this post suggests that you don't see your relationship that way, but that's the way it needs to be.
    edited July 2015
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  • basedchembasedchem 1608 replies73 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2015
    @z6rqji2t Don't even bother asking that teacher to write you a rec, first off. There's a section that teachers (and counselors) usually check off that says something along the lines of: "Does this student demonstrate academic honesty in your class?", and since you have that offense, and it is on your record, they can't lie about it. Also, don't even bother going to your GC about nullifying this. You made a mistake. It is on you. There's nothing you can do about it now. It's nothing too major (for now, it just seems like a warning. you didn't get suspended, you didn't get expelled.), and you don't have a lot of them. Don't even sweat it.
    edited July 2015
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  • z6rqji2tz6rqji2t 2 replies1 threads New Member
    @michelle426 I am confident that the section you were talking about, about what the teachers and counselors check off about academic honesty, is part of the recommendation section. Obviously, I would choose a teacher that recognizes my academic honesty to write my letter of recommendation, so there is no need to worry about what my other teachers have to say about my academic violation. I understand that it's nothing too major, so why can't I talk with my GC about nullifying my past violation? It happened three years ago, and my actions following the violation prove that I somewhat deserve to it voided. This is a huge problem for me, and I apologize if I come off as rude
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  • z6rqji2tz6rqji2t 2 replies1 threads New Member
    @WasatchWriter I was planning on talking with my GC after school starts. I will confront my problem with my GC, and hopefully they can understand my situation and help me remove this "blot". If not, I guess there's nothing else for me to do other than supply an additional essay on my Common App and wait for my admission chances to plummet.
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  • basedchembasedchem 1608 replies73 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2015
    @z6rqji2t You don't come off as rude at all. I understand your predicament and your worries, but realize that great futures don't necessarily require great pasts. This offense is by no means "a big deal", but it happened. You can't turn back time and fix it. You have justified yourself in your actions since then, but that blot is personal, it can't be removed. At the time, you deserved (for lack of a better word) that offense. It is no one's fault but yours. Right now, you don't "deserve" anything when it comes to the nullification. When your counselor checks off your academic honesty box, they can't lie about it. The fact of the matter is: you cheated, you never did it again, and you are a good person now. If you get rejected from a college, it won't be because of that one minor offense. Let me repeat that: IF YOU GET REJECTED FROM A COLLEGE, IT MOST LIKELY (>95%) WILL NOT BE BECAUSE OF YOUR SMALL OFFENSE. YOU DID NOT SELL DRUGS. YOU DID NOT DRINK ON CAMPUS. YOU WERE NOT SUSPENDED OR EXPELLED. Now do this with me: breathe in, and breathe out. You are going to do great.

    Also, I actually do understand your predicament because I am in a little bit of the same situation. I got 2 Bs my sophomore year Chem Honors class, but since then, I've won many awards in Chemistry, got 2 As in AP, got a 770 on the subject test after sophomore year, and a 5 on the AP test, and yes I plan to major in Chemistry in college. I once contemplated to ask my Chem Honors teacher to change ONE of my Bs to an A, but then I realize that I deserved it because I slacked off in class and I COULD HAVE done a lot better. Colleges will look at these grades yes, but they'll see that I have a prolonged interest in Chemistry, and I have been relatively successful since then, and the only mark I have a slightly lower GPA. Don't even bother taking that off. The past is the past. The past will never change, but you have.
    edited July 2015
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  • iubaccountingiubaccounting 1138 replies16 threadsForum Champion Indiana - Bloomington Senior Member
    Do you even need recommendations for the common app? I applied to Manchester University and the University of Miami Ohio last year through the common app, and I don't recall getting any recommendations. I could be wrong about this, but I think the only thing my GC did was send my transcript to the schools.
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  • guineagirl96guineagirl96 3759 replies97 threadsForum Champion Math/Computer Science, Forum Champion Richmond Forum Champion
    @iubaccounting Yes, you do need recommendations on common app.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 9899 replies64 threads Senior Member
    Problem:
    You're doing it again; you didn't learn your lesson. Please reread your post:
    "Do you think I can convince my guidance counselor to nullify my violation from three years ago and mark 'No' on the Common App if I try to convince her that I am an active citizen in my school, have no other academic violations, and gained the respect of my teachers from my time in high school?"

    Do you think I can ask my counselor to lie for me and mark 'no'? Nope, don't think so.

    It wasn't a big deal in your past, but now you are starting your lack of integrity all over again. Why would you do that?
    The school has to be honest or they risk losing the integrity of the school for future students. They can explain it away very basically. So can you.

    But, you didn't learn and you want someone to cover it up. That's still being dishonest with others as well as yourself.

    Common App explanation: if my kid were to write it up.

    "I feel compelled to note an incident in my first semester of high school. I was SCARED of performing poorly in high school and made a mistake in my first semester. I made a huge STUPID decision of plagiarizing a paper. The school dealt with it justly and I learned my lesson immediately about the importance of doing my own work and being HONEST. The results of my own work are evident in the rest of this application."

    Then sign the application that states everything on this "common application is TRUE and HONEST to the best of my knowledge".

    Problem solved. BE HONEST for life!
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  • rhandcorhandco 4240 replies55 threads Senior Member
    GC can't do it.

    If you are VERY VERY lucky and VERY VERY contrite, you can go to the principal or headmaster and BEG to have the record cleaned up.

    A GC unilaterally making that kind of decision will lose his or her job.

    A principal can do whatever the heck he or she wants. A GC will risk their job to lie for you. And you are trying to lie, again.
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