Why Do College Students Cheat?

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Professor Kruger

English 1164

31 March 2008

Why Do College Students Cheat?

Cheating among students in college has worsened over the years and not much is being done to stop it. Where is the line drawn when it comes to cheating in the classroom? And why do kids do it? In today’s world people are growing lazier and always looking for ways to do less work and a lot of that has to do with improved technology. Improved technology has also made cheating easier. Students can send each other e-mail’s back and forth in the middle of class with answers. So as long as computers are a part of our world and apart of classrooms, how could cheating ever be stopped then? The major reasons that college students cheat is because they want to get better grades without doing as much work, they feel pressure from their parents to succeed, and because the benefit/cost tradeoff favors cheating.

According to the book “Next Text: Making Connections Across and Beyond the Disciplines” in today’s age some students want to get better grades without doing as much work that’s why it is one of the major reasons that college students decide to cheat. Better grades could possibly mean better jobs and eventually more money. Student these days are cheating more than ever and that’s because getting a good education is basically a matter of economic life and death (Kress, p. 21). Even students that earn straight A’s cheat because they say they don’t have the time to do the work carefully. They also say that it’s kind of like insurance; like it feels safer and better, knowing that for sure got the right answer (Kress, p.41). Most parents these days are more inclined to want their children to get a good education. The financial burden prevented kids from getting a good education back then compared to now. Most anyone is eligible to receive loans these days compared to back then. They also want them to succeed in school and achieve high grades. Some students believe that pressure from their parents to get good grades causes to them cheat to more. Students who cheat are more motivated by getting higher grades and less by actually acquiring that knowledge that would have been gained from the class or book (Pittenger, par.3).

Students nationwide cheat less as they get older so their need to cheat dissipates (Kress, p.31). They are older and more mature, and should know better. However, in March of 2007, thirty-four M.B.A students from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business were disciplined following inappropriate collaboration on a take-home exam. It was the largest ever reported from Duke University (Daugherty, par. 1). That right there shows how important higher grades mean to students and the willingness they will go through to get those good grades. A lot of people think the older people are the less inclined they will be to cheat, but take maturity factor out of this equation because these were M.B.A students.

According to the Center for Academic Integrity (CAI), 32 percent of surveyed students said that their primary reason for cheating was laziness, 29 percent said that they cheat to achieve higher grades, and 12 percent cited pressures to succeed (Hutton, par.4). Those numbers show how students feel about doing school work. Students cheat because they are too lazy to do the work. According to Elizabeth Mustatine’s journal, “Deviant Behavior”, students who are registered for more credit hours are more likely to cheat. Also, students that are involved with extracurricular activities like being involved in athletics, and belonging to a social fraternity/sorority are more likely to cheat. Basically students that

are involved in more activities are more likely to cheat (Mustatine, par. 11). So students are too worn out from their other activities that they push their school work aside and they get lazy on it.

Students want higher grades because they feel pressure from their parents to...
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