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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

'They're here for the Wharton brand, a 4.0 GPA and to party'

Cheating has become the norm for college students, writes Suzy Weiss on Free Press. "Remote learning" during Covid lowered standards and inflated grades.

"Remote testing combined with an array of tech tools — exam helpers like Chegg, Course Hero, Quizlet, and Coursera; messaging apps like GroupMe and WhatsApp; Dropbox folders containing course material from years past; and most recently, ChatGPT, the AI that can write essays — have permanently transformed the student experience," she writes. Students who don't cheat feel like chumps.

“Many students want the credential, and they just want the easiest way to get that,” Gabriel Rossman, a sociology professor at UCLA, told me.
A sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious business school, who declined to give me her name, said: “They’re here for the Wharton brand, a 4.0 GPA, and to party.”

“Anything that you miss, you can just learn on YouTube,” Sam Beyda, a Columbia freshman, told her.

"Lower-level courses, where cheating is more rampant, tend to be taught by nontenured faculty with little job security," writes Weiss. Adjuncts fear negative student evaluations. They can't afford to offend the "customers," who may be paying $70,000 a year or more for tuition, room and board.

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