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Opinion & Editorial

Academic Dishonesty at North Carolina Only Part of the Problem

For over 18 years, students at North Carolina University boosted their GPAs through fake, “paper classes.” Many of these students also participated in athletics, as their inflated GPAs helped them retain eligibility. It was recently discovered that many of the school’s top officials, including members of the athletic department, were aware of the cheating.  Clearly, this is an issue that must be resolved at North Carolina. But what may seem like an isolated incident is part of a much larger problem of academic dishonesty at college institutions and high schools.

Ever since the early 21st century, schools have wanted to improve graduation and admission rates. But in the process, many schools resorted to artificially boosting grades to graduate underperforming students. And while this may be seldom seen on the university level, this has happened all too much in high schools across the country.

Because of the massive pressure to graduate and enter extremely selective national universities, many students feel compelled to cheat. According to a survey of 12,000 high school students, over 74% of them admitted to cheating on tests at least once. And while this may seem beneficial to students in the short term, the long term repercussions of this dishonesty has proven to be deadly. This has created a job market where many of the applicants are unprepared. And because of the falling academic standards, more and more graduates have similar credentials.

While America ranks by a mile first in military spending, we are much farther back in terms of academic ratings. In reading, math, and science, American teenagers ranked a distant 20th, 30th, and 23rd respectively.  To produce the best professionals, America has to improve this ranking very quickly. Therefore, the solution starts with improving our falling academic standards.

Written By Tristan Rhee’ 17


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