Does Cheating Matter in the Long Run?

It’s a well known fact that cheating has become prevalent among high school students. According to the Academic Cheating Fact Sheet by The Educational Testing Service, while about 20% of college students admitted to cheating in high school during the 1940’s, today between 75 and 98 percent of college students surveyed each year report having cheated in high school. Many students tend to cheat on their tests through various methods, due to the competitive academic environment. On average across OECD countries, 66% of students reported feeling stressed about poor grades and 59% reported that they often worry that taking a test will be difficult. The OECD further found that 55% of students feel very anxious about school testing, even when they are well prepared. 


To prevent cheating, schools implement harsh consequences and take several precautions: teachers create several versions of the tests and use dividers, while the students who cheated are sent to detention or the principal and receive a failing grade on the assignment or course. In addition,schools illustrate the consequences of cheating to be severe and chronic. Through advisory lessons and assemblies, the school shows examples of students whose lives took a completely different turn as a result of cheating and explain the various reprimands of cheating such as having a permanent record on their transcripts. 


However, the drawbacks of cheating such as receiving an F on the assignment or suspension will not be a liability later in life. The consequences received in high school will not extend further than one’s college admissions; it may not even affect one’s college admissions if one simply received a zero on the assignment which lowered the overall grade of the class. In the long run, no one will be looking for cheating records during high school years.


Although records of an integrity violation negatively impact college admissions, one’s college education does not matter significantly. High school or college education are small factors in determining one’s quality of life. Even without graduating from a “good” college, one can get a job and make a living. Furthermore, employers are caring less and less about the college a person went to. Kris Stadelman, director of the NOVA Workforce Investment Board in Silicon Valley, is a leader in understanding how hiring criteria changed in California.


Said Stadel, “Employers are interested in what skills you bring and how these skills can be used in their business.” 


NOVA interviewed tech employers and found that the mastery of current technologies is the most critical factor in their hiring decisions. Few employers even mentioned college degrees as a factor. In addition, a study in 2011 proved that the college a person attends has little impact on their job: whether you went to Penn or Penn State, Williams College or Miami University of Ohio, job outcomes were unaffected in terms of earnings. Altogether, cheating during high school years has little impact on a person’s overall life.


A significant population of the students study because by law, they have to attend school and learn. Only 46 percent of high schoolers think their studies are relevant and 60 percent of the students feel engaged, according to new data from the nonprofit YouthTruth. Cheating — to some extent represents — how much a student is willing to try to assimilate and meet the requirements of society, ultimately showing their desperation to excel in society and complete their given work.As a last resort, students cheat to obtain the result they needed. Cheating is not an honest way to achieve something, but it is understandable and forgivable given the amount of effort students put in studying so far and the stress they have been put under.


High school cheating has little to none impact on post-adolescence. A talk with the principal, an hour long detention, or even a day suspension will have a negligible impact on one’s life. A person’s quality of life will not vary significantly as a consequence of dishonest acts during high school years. Just like anything else, cheating gets forgotten and forgiven as time passes. Although, cheating has no long term impact, it creates problems with one’s integrity and honesty, which will heavily impact one’s future relations and decisions. Therefore, people should try not to cheat despite the temptations and minimal detriments.