Next generation of economists and pols already cheat

A fairly surprising percentage of the best and the brightest got where they are by cheating.

The Harvard Crimson reports that 10 percent of the incoming freshmen at Harvard admit to cheating on exams, and 40 percent acknowledge cheating on homework. Presumably, the question never came up at the admissions interview.

Recruited athletes were even more likely to admit to cheating — 20 percent admitted to cheating on an exam, compared to 9 percent of students who were not recruited to play a varsity sport at Harvard. Twenty-six percent of recruited athletes said they had cheated on a paper or take-home assignment, compared to 16 percent of non-recruits.

Across the board, the incoming freshman class reported higher rates of cheating than did Harvard’s Class of 2013 in a Crimson senior survey conducted last spring. In that survey, 7 percent of graduating seniors said they had cheated on an exam, and 7 percent said they had cheated on a paper or take-home test. Thirty-two percent of graduating seniors said they cheated on a problem set or homework assignment during their undergraduate careers.

Men were more likely to cheat than women, the survey indicated.

Twenty-six percent of the incoming freshmen — a plurality — said they intend to concentrate on economics or government.

Early this year, Harvard quiz teams were stripped of their championships after it was revealed they cheated.

  • Will Young

    With gradflation at schools like Harvard, what’s the point?

  • Jeff

    Let’s see…You work your whole high school career to get into a good college. You get into Harvard. When you get on campus someone asks you if you ever cheated in high school. If you were dishonest enough to cheat, why would you be so honest to tell anyone affiliated with The College, even the student newspaper, that you cheated, thus threatening your entire academic life?

  • Craig

    If we exclude students of math, hard-sciences and engineering (subjects in which cheating is more difficult to carry on for any duration) much of what Harvard is looking for in students is the promise of future power. The ability to cheat just the right amount without getting caught, or perhaps without being punished, can be a big part of attaining power on wall street or in government. Having alumni in these corridors of power is valuable to the school.