Post By: COYD Staff
Plagiarism and falsifying facts on your college applications have never been things to take lightly. However, now more than ever, universities are cracking down and dedicating financial resources to preventing this kind of fraud.
As most of you know, Adam Wheeler, a transfer student at Harvard, was admitted into both Stanford and Harvard with a completely fictional application. He fooled the admissions staff with a fake perfect SAT score, fake transcripts and fake letters of recommendation that not only gave him admission to Harvard but also to over $45,000 in financial aid. This was not only an embarassment to these two reputable schools, but it also showed everybody that application fraud is not something to take lightly.
Since then, Harvard announced in September of this year that they will be more closely scrutinizing applications for fraud. The University President Drew Faust said that Harvard plans to implement its own technological measures which they won’t describe because it would be easier to undermine.
Yesterday, Stanford also announced that they will implement random auditing of prospective students’ applications starting this application season. The University of California system has already been auditing applications by asking 10 percent of the applicants to “verify activites, grades, or facts from personal essays.”
As I’ve mentioned before, Turnitin, a “patented, award-winning plagiarism software technology”, is becoming more popular with university admissions offices. Turnitin was originally used to check papers for plagiarism, but in 2009 they added admission essays to the list of documents they would check for plagiarism. Penn State was the first college to reveal that their admissions office purchased the service. I believe more and more colleges will also sign up for the service if they haven’t already.
So obviously, if you have ever been tempted to lie on your application, don’t. Not only is it unethical, but it will also ruin your chances of getting in anywhere if caught. However, due to the extra scrutiny put on college applications this year, below are a few things you shouldn’t do when filling out your application:
1. Don’t write about leadership roles or extracurricular activities that you can’t verify.
2. Don’t embellish.
3. Don’t upgrade nominations to awards.
4. Do not put quotes into your essay without citing it in internal documentation.