Cheating on college apps

<p>Voronwe posted this on the parents forum about fraudulent applications from Asian Countries like India and China. Students from those countries feel free to comment.</p>

<p>Someone recently posted an article from the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Since the college where I volunteer has a Lexis-Nexis subscription, I was able to read a bunch of online articles today.</p>

<p>Wow! What an eye-opener! First I learned about fraud in international applications. Sometimes it's just white-out and then xeroxing a school form so it reads "successfully" instead of "unsuccessfully" or "was awarded a diploma" instead of "was not awarded." These were painfully obvious to the adcoms because of the large amount of space between words. Other attempts were far more sophisticated. Sometimes students listed schools they graduated from in a certain year - but the school did not exist in that year. Another student tried to painstakingly duplicate complicated Indian calligraphy on a diploma, but it looked all shaky!</p>

<p>Turns out adcoms have to outsource to companies that do verification to see if applications are fraudulent.</p>

<p>The second thing that was interesting: families with money send in multiple deposits to hold places at various schools, perhaps because they are hoping a place on another waiting list will open up, or for other reasons. The adcoms say this brings havoc to the admissions process ---- it used to be that if you came up with the deposit, it was the end of story - you were attending. Now, they can't tell.</p>

<p>This seems another way that families without money bear a burden. Not only can they NOT double or triple deposit, but if THEY are on a waiting list, it takes even longer to find out (well, that latter appplies to people with money as well).</p>

<p>It just keeps getting more complex....</p>

<p>I seem to recall it was mostly Asian countries, including China and India, but I don't have the article in front of me. The overall number of fraudulent apps was low - something like 3%, I think, but I am not sure - but it was enough that the schools really had to spend time looking into them.</p>

<p>Another article - one by Rachel Toor - mentioned "fake" American apps - for example, she was deeply moved by an essay which she showed around, and one woman said, "May I borrow this for a minute?" Toor thought she was going to photocopy it, but instead she made some phone calls, came back, and said that the same essay had been making the rounds under other people's names. Toor went on to say that kids fake dead relatives, families with cancer, or whatever, I guess to explain away their own low grades. She said the adcoms were aware of "clubs" with only one member, and other scams....</p>