The Majority Of US Students Cheat

October 23, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
OXNARD, Ca. ( – Recent survey results from the Educational Testing Service and the Ad Council suggest that 75 percent to 98 percent of students cheat in high school, compared to just 20 percent of students during the 1940s. Indications are that just as many students cheat in college and graduate school too. Students say they resort to cheating due to heavy workloads, unclear rules, and lack of faculty assistance.

These statistics are not surprising to Karen Koepp, Founder of Graduate Research Coaching ( “Some of these students feel like they have no choice. They try their best, but often don’t fully understand the task. Each time their work gets returned for rewriting, they see their deadlines and their hopes of graduation slip through their fingers and often have no clearer understanding of what to do.”

With the help of technology and the Internet, cheating has become even easier. Several online businesses sell entire papers, essays, and research projects to students for a flat fee. Although these companies claim that students should only use the work as a resource, Koepp says that students have handed the work in as their own. She stated, “Thirty pages in the middle of one research project I reviewed had an entirely different voice than the rest of the project. It seemed clear to me that someone else had written that section.”

Cheating has become an epidemic. And the students who get caught risk failure and even expulsion from their schools. After investing $50,000 (the average investment for a master’s degree) to $100,000 (the average investment for a doctoral degree), this represents a huge loss to students and the schools that enroll them.

While some schools have cracked down on cheating by using anti-cheating software, Koepp argues that helping students avoid cheating should be just as important as detecting when students cheat. For example, Graduate Research Coaching offers detailed workbooks, workshops, coaching, and instructive review of students’ work to help them learn how to produce their own best work.

Students and faculty agree that better preparation is needed. One recent study of doctoral faculty revealed that 50% had concerns about students’ level of preparation for the dissertation. In a companion study, a student emphasized, “I don’t think any of the writing tasks we did in my program prepared me to write a dissertation. Not at all.”