Allegations of widespread cheating in government class probed at Harvard
Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S., is investigating allegations of cheating on a take-home final exam in May.
August 30th, 2012
07:24 PM ET

Allegations of widespread cheating in government class probed at Harvard

By Julia Talanova and Jason Kessler, CNN

(CNN) - Harvard University is investigating allegations that almost half the students in an undergraduate class last spring may have plagiarized or "inappropriately collaborated" on their final exams, the school announced Thursday.

Following an initial investigation, Harvard's administrative board, which enforces academic regulations, undertook "a comprehensive review of the more than 250 take-home final exams" submitted at the end of a course, the school said in a statement.

The Harvard Crimson, the school's flagship student-run newspaper, identified the class in which the cheating allegedly occurred as Government 1310: Introduction to Congress.

A document on the website of Harvard's registrar's office says the class had 279 students.

"We take academic integrity very seriously because it goes to the heart of our educational mission," said Michael D. Smith, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, in a written statement.

Last semester during grading, "the faculty member teaching the course questioned the similarities between a number of exams," according to the statement.

The board then reviewed the questionable exams and interviewed the students who submitted them, eventually launching a wider review along with the class's professor, the statement said.

That review is still underway.

A copy of the take-home exam found on Harvard's website shows that it laid out a series rules for students to follow.

"The exam is completely open book, open note, open internet, etc.," the instructions begin. "However, in all other regards, this should fall under similar guidelines that apply to in-class exams. More specifically, students may not discuss the exam with others ... this includes resident tutors, writing centers, Etc."

Among the exam's questions was an essay requiring students to address the question: "Do interest groups make Congress more or less representative as an institution?"

Students had one week to complete the exam.

Matthew B. Platt, the assistant professor in the school's department of government who taught the class, did not immediately respond to a voice mail and an e-mail from CNN.

The initial reaction on campus is one of shock, according to Ben Samuels, a senior and the editor of the Harvard Crimson.

"I think we're pretty surprised by it," he said. "This appears to be on a scale that's fairly unprecedented at least from we've seen in the past."

Samuels said there had been chatter about a major cheating incident for several days prior to Thursday's announcement.

"There had been some talk that there was some sort of cheating scandal that was beyond the scope of what you would normally see," he said.

The school said those found guilty of "academic dishonesty" could be forced to withdraw from the college for a year, in addition to facing other, unspecified disciplinary actions.

"These allegations, if proven, represent totally unacceptable behavior that betrays the trust upon which intellectual inquiry at Harvard depends," Harvard University President Drew Faust said in a statement.

The school's fall semester begins next week.

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Filed under: Cheating • College • Policy • Practice
soundoff (356 Responses)
  1. george bush

    Harvard is gay!

    September 1, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • Andrew

      Who cares

      September 1, 2012 at 4:09 am |
  2. Scott

    Why would this surprise anyone? They are training our future leaders...may as well train them right.....
    Lying, cheating , stealing....The new American values......

    September 1, 2012 at 2:36 am |
  3. sharky

    Jealous because you couldn't get into Harvard huh.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  4. theAcademy

    Me thinks these Ivy League schools are a rip-off. Class size 250 – take home exam. Give me a break.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:00 am |
  5. justifina

    doesn't surprise me. my child went to high school with someone who got a scholarship there. mom did the homework, not the student. kid supposedly looked miserable all the time from their vigorous sports participation.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  6. Fang

    I am really shocked that it has taken this long for these cheating allegations to be investigated. Obama was at Harvard many years ago. Isn't there a statute of limitations for Christ's sake!

    September 1, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  7. Bryce

    The amphetamine generation is all about making the grade, passing the test. Learning is not the top priority. Take a pill, copy an answer, what's the difference, the end justifies the means.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  8. GatorALLin what seat did Lance Armstrong sit in?

    August 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  9. Mike

    250 in a class, take home exams, and they cheat? Parents could have sent the kids to CC, and bought a Lexus with the leftover ca$h. Just sayin...

    August 31, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Nitrogen

      Agreed. I went to a CC before I transferred to a University, and the CC did this kind of testing. Totally bogus in my opinion. I expect way, way more from Harvard.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
      • connie

        It's not just about the quality of the education. It's brand name awareness and the connections you make. In other words, how many Rockefellers or other American aristocrats have you met as a classmate at a CC?

        September 1, 2012 at 1:50 am |
      • realtycheck

        I would be so quick to embrace CC. When I taught at the state U system, we were forced to accept students from CC if they took the course regardless the level of competency. The student got an A from a faculty who has no expertise teaching the course. The student was wise enough to repeat the course that happened to be taught by me, a basic engineeing course. The student failed the first time after she already got an A from CC, then got caught cheating on the homework with another student and got a D the second time from me. The student needs a C to progress in engineering – our program policy, not university. So CC is a hit or miss depending what courses you are taking. They will do well in Intro to Congress, no doubt.

        September 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  10. Seraphimo

    This is truly ironic. In a class on government, focusing on Congress, at Harvard; cheating was discovered. Future crooks in government down the years, sure do start their training early!

    August 31, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  11. Doctor e

    Yee,Gods! Does no one understand the ramifications here? The cynicism of the commentary is overwhelming the seriousness of this cheating problem. Do we really want these students performing surgeries, building skyscrapers or power plants, or designing bridges?

    Cheating or not learning what is necessary to be a professional today, is guaranteed to kill innocent people tomorrow.

    August 31, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Be Real

      These people do not build bridges or perform surgery. They are studying government which means they plan to walk around shaking hands, talking money (bribes), making promises and screwing the American public. Does this really surprise you? If they dig, they will find that cheating there, MIT and every other college around the world there is cheating. It starts in HS, the brightest and the best make a name for themselves and then are never questioned and the brightest and the best form little clicks and pass exams around. Teachers are lazy therefore will give the same exam in 1st period that they give for 5th period. Not saying it is the case for all teachers or all students but there is more cheating than you would believe. Stat and calc classes in college where the calculator is the cell phone and texting happening from one end of the class to the next.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:27 am |
      • realtycheck

        Be real, cheating does not just exist in the intro to congress class? It happens in medicine over 30 years ago (the same exam was used over and over and almost every medical student has a copy so every one gets over 90%, what a shame, they should get 100%). It happens in engineering classes too. So, you should be concern. That cheater could be your doctor treating you, building the bridge you drive on, designing the car you are driving, the plane you are flying.....or the food you are eating!!. Ma be you are not concern, I know I am concern.

        September 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  12. Inquiring Mond

    There's more to this story that isn't being discussed overtly by the Media (yet). Was this a function of the Greek system? Was it instead a group of foreign students? Was any particular culture/student background involved? How did a large group of students end up collaborating together on cheating on an exam – that is almost impossible UNLESS the group is cohesive in some manner already.

    August 31, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Albert Leo

      Are you just speculating randomly, or do you have something concrete to assert?

      August 31, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  13. Juan Carlos

    These students will do well in government. Learning proactively to do anything and everything possible to achieve the objective, rules (and, one day, laws) be damned. Sure, expel them. Or, better yet, move them to the top of the list, fast-track for quick graduation and put them to work, and let's elect a few of them too. Business as usual.

    August 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Paul Williamson

      Yes, they should get a couple Senators, dozens of Congressman (including Chairs of Finance Comittee), 4 or 5 Governors, and yes, a President or two, out of this class of cheaters.Harvard trains them well, particularly their business and law schools. Their motto should be "Succeed at any price and damn the ethics"

      August 31, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  14. spent

    Cheating in a government class....anyone see an irony here?

    August 31, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Aaron

      Nice observation!

      August 31, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Real Patriot

      especially a class related to congress

      August 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  15. Irish I Were Drunk

    Hahvahds fah queeahs anyway.

    August 31, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  16. Tom

    "The Harvard Crimson, the school's flagship student-run newspaper, identified the class in which the cheating allegedly occurred as Government 1310: Introduction to Congress."

    I don't understand the uproar. They cheated in a class where they learned about Congress. Shouldn't they get A's for using the lessons learned from our public officials?

    August 31, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  17. Inciteful

    Obviously, they're ready for their careers in politics.

    August 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  18. tb50

    279 students in a class? For the amount of tuition these students (or their parents) are paying? That sounds more like the classes I took at a Big Ten/CIC university.

    August 31, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • red

      That's standard for the "intro to" classes at most Ivies.

      August 31, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  19. Jerome Barry

    Enjoy the next election.

    August 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  20. Jerome Barry

    Harvard, credentialing another generation of America's leaders, NOT.

    August 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  21. Truth Seeker

    Sorry, that should have been Siemens!

    August 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  22. Truth Seeker

    What happened in the 2004 Seamans Science Contest and why did the media not report on what happened?

    August 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  23. JuhnnyYuma61

    In a course called, "An Introduction to Congress", you'd think that cheating was required.

    August 31, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  24. Larry

    They are lucky it was Harvard. If It was Colorado Springs, Kings Point, West Point or Annapolis their futures would be shot.

    August 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      That's the way it should be (well, with some leeway).

      August 31, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • realtycheck

      Wasn't there a big cheating scandal at West Point over a decade or two ago. No one was shot.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  25. Truth Seeker

    Don't many of Wall Street's cheaters come out of Harvard?

    August 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Chocolate cupcakes

      10 to 1 odds they are Chinese nationals.

      August 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        What does that mean, RACIST?!!!

        August 31, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • Wang

        You a gleasy plick!

        August 31, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
      • Be Real

        That is truly a racist remark. Perhaps it was the rich and wealthly Americans that offshored their papers to China, India and Russia. Again, practicing what they will do when they reach congress.

        September 1, 2012 at 7:37 am |
      • realtycheck

        Racism is alive and kicking!! For a moment I thought it was gone. Were you classmate of Mitch McConnel our esteem majority leader?

        September 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • sharky

      *smiling* Obama came out of Harvard.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:00 am |
      • JimT

        So did Mitt Romney ... twice:. MBA + JD

        September 1, 2012 at 4:54 am |
      • Be Real

        Half of congress came out of Havard. The deversity that is government (federal and state), is mainly made up from a handful of colleges across the nation.

        September 1, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  26. columbus

    Cheating on "Intro to Congress"? How appropriate.

    August 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  27. M Shell

    Many schools, including elite ones, determine the final grades based entirely on a few take-home exercises including essays, which is completely a fraud if it is not designed purposefully to benefit those who are advantageous. Faculty who are not trying hard to maintain a rigid and fair educational system often opt for such teaching and grading structures. Now, those who are disadvantaged are going to be penalized.

    August 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  28. Rob

    I like the senior who said he was suprised by the allegations. As if he doesn't know fraternities keep filing cabinets full of old class papers.

    Don't give take home exams and don't ever hand out repeat exams from previous semesters. Then you won't have as much cheating.

    People will cheat if given the opportunity. Even wealthy and smart kids.

    August 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • realtycheck

      Bravo to Rob. But it makes so much sense that it must not have included in the syllabus. Then where did the prof. graduate from? Didn't his advisor mentor him on things like this? Am I expeting too much?

      September 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  29. chris

    When do we find out that they used a Facebook group to do it?

    August 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  30. bb

    Isnt this where Oblunder got his forged papers ???? go figure

    August 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • palintwit

      Don't you have to dig a new latrine behind your trailer or something?

      August 31, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  31. Grey

    Take home exam. As a law school, if they didn't clarify who's home, then there is no cheating.

    August 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  32. JoeStrummersGhost

    I've taught college. If you give undergraduates a take-home exam, the majority of them are going to cheat on it in some way, even when it is painfully easy. This is not just at Harvard, it's everywhere. It is the way things are now. If this is big news to people, then it's no wonder why our educational system is a complete joke. No one (students or educators) gives a s**t anymore about actually upholding standards or even being truly competent in their field. They've been taught that education is about simply jumping through hoops and getting ahead by any means, and taking the easiest, fastest route to the reward. There is no notion anymore of having to make a real committment to getting a degree that's worth anything, it's practically become something you do in your spare time when you feel like it.

    Any professor giving take home exams like this to undergrads is a either a fool, or has simply given up trying to beat a dysfunctional system. I never had a take home exam until I was in graduate school in mathematics, and they were unbelievably difficult, quasi-research questions. An in-class exam is one of the few ways to really know who's got the material down, and who's taking it all seriously. There aren't any questions on this test that students couldn't have answered on an in-class exam, and it wasn't that long ago that they would have been expected to. The only sort of take-home evaluation an undergrad should have is a lengthy paper or research project, but then again, a lot of them are just buying these off the internet these days, so I'm not sure they're worth any more than the take home exams.

    College is now just surrogate high school, and not a very good one, rife with the same low standards and grade inflation as the public schools. This is not an economic issue, either, as many people have potrayed it to be. It is a philosophical and societal issue. No one wants to work or think too hard, but they still want all the rewards. Unfortunately, we've now decided that computers and the internet can do all our thinking for us, but it just doesn't work that way in real life. Technology is not improving education, it's making us a country full of very dumb, lazy people. It's just a tool – not a new way of thinking or learning.

    To give you an idea, a friend of mine recently took an intro physics class at a small college where the exams were take home, open book, multiple choice exams taken directly from test banks on the internet – nothing had to be worked out and handed in (or actually learned, apparently). Most of the students simply Googled the questions and got the answers. Not only were these very simple questions that should have been asked on an in-class exam, a significant number of the so-called "correct" answers from the test bank were incorrect to begin with, and most seemed to be written by someone who really didn't know any actual physics. Since no one questioned these, it's safe to assume that no one learned anything about physics in the class. So, bad teachers, bad students, bad resources, bad system. Reprehensible...but unfortunately, this is becoming the norm. My 10th grade physics class in 1982 was more demanding, and more competent.

    August 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • columbus

      And, we're paying more than ever for a "college" education.

      August 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • MBAStudent


      I would have to strongly agree with you. As an Economics and Business student I have seen people cheat there way through, even on campus classes. Ive taken online classes in the past, but truely they can be effective if you care about your education. That is, that you take time to read/study the text, understand, answer practice assignments, and contribute to class. At times I found them just as effective as regular classes. The scary part about this is that these so called "cheaters" graduate from HARVARD and end up getting a nice job in a good firm somewhere, while hard working students in low income schools are thrown to the curve. (TALKING ABOUT A CRAPPY JOB MARKET? HUH?) This is a horrid problem in the US and is basically a hint to the future that awaits us. People are just plain lazy and are looking to live the highlife with little effort. In one way this type of behavior makes a professional criminal look like a hard worker. Anyways, I think this sociological behavior is attributing to all the crazy news we hear about malfeasance and cheats in the government and private sector. A TRUE OUTRAGE!

      Thanks for your post.

      August 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • tb50

      It would depend upon the nature of the exam. It looks like there are a lot of "explain your answer" type of questions to this particular exam (in addition to a 2-4 page essay question). These are questions where the student needs to develop their own ideas and formulate them in their own words. It shouldn't be too difficult to detect cheaters-just pay attention when grading, or use a detection program.

      August 31, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • red

      For us, the mentality was that a take home, open book, open internet exam was not a "real" exam. We didn't get together in groups to do it (certainly not sharing answers with 200 people!), but we did discuss the questions/answers briefly in the dorms (not writing anything down from these discussions, just thinking it over). People are raking these kids over the coals for little reason. The problem is giving take home exams like this, and professors do it because they don't teach well and as a result if everyone took a real in class exam, they would all fail. Can't get tenure with all your students failing year after year.

      August 31, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Ben

      Wow! You have taught college? That's a pretty broad subject. To think that you should not be able to use your resources in a physics class is rather obtuse. So your idea of learning is memorizing a formula? Simply because you may or may not have a good memory doesn't necessarily mean you are intelligent.

      Cheating is cheating, but to criticize the methodology of real professors and learning by simply being a teaching assistant grading papers shows that you are a bitter person, on the lower end of the i.q. spectrum, that is jealous that he couldn't find his way into academia.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • realtycheck

      I can't agree you more, professor. Do you feel that you are so "out dated" that it is time to retire? I do.
      Bad or incompetent teachers – while you are on this subject, the publishers are pushing the textbook authors to make available lectures on PowerPoint slides. I prepared a set of slides for a colleague on his textbook. I enjoyed the task as I have already created some slides for my class when I used his textbook. What a shame that today's teachers/professors can't even read the book to prepare his/her own lecture. A lot of them didn't not use the prepare slide to help with their own preparation. We interviewed a faculty candidate a number of years back. The candidate used the textbook author's prepared slide without, apparent, reviewing the content. When questioned on one of the slides, the candidate had no idea why the image was shown as it was. We didn't hire the person. I am sure some one will when the salary is low enough!!

      For those who find cheating shocking, here are couple more facts. It is cheaper to subsribe solution to all the courses in a semester than to buy a single textbook. You can hire someone online to do your homework. Price is based on the level of difficulty.

      Perhaps we faculty need to do some Googling once in a while to stay current.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  33. palintwit

    When teabaggers enter college, the first thing they are taught is how to brush their tooth.

    August 31, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • sharky

      And yet Obama went to Harvard.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:01 am |
  34. Every Tub on its Own Bottom

    Well, I've done the Harvard (law school) take-home exam drill, albeit a long time ago. Take-homes can be very effective; they are grueling because you actually have time to evaluate your thought and presentation, as well as to scurry for resources, instead of spewing reactively into a blue book. They can be gamed by those who did not track a course closely over an entire semester but have good analytical and writing skills, but they also are good training for the real world, where you can be asked to present a written analysis on short notice, with research tools at your disposal. The problem with this one is letting folks have an entire week to complete the exercise. How on God's green earth are folks NOT going to talk with their classmates about an open-textured question, the like of which could easily come up at the dinner table without an exam looming, over the course of a week? Keep the take-home exams on an 8-hour or 24-hour clock, and the opportunity or impulse to cheat will diminish in proportion.

    August 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  35. M Shell

    Those who cheated through help from their own relatives are lucky ones, since they won't be penalized.

    August 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  36. Tony

    1. Take-home exams? really? you really expect them to be honest with no supervision? are these professors new to the world?
    2. According to the article the rules state "students may not discuss the exam with others". It didn't say MUST not.
    3. Cheating in a class called "Introduction to Congress" ironic is that!?

    August 31, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • David

      How ironic? Well, I suppose I'd have to say not ironic at all.

      August 31, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • David

      No, really. I'm not sure what the opposite of "John Henry and that Alanis Moriessette song having a baby" is, but the result would be as ironic as this observation.

      August 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Princeton Grad

      At Princeton, none of the exams are supervised. Though cheating on a small scale may happen due to people having no morals, overall everyone is honest, and there is never collaboration at this wide of a scale.

      August 31, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
      • realtycheck

        That is from the student's perspective. I thought the same my first year teaching few decades ago. Did the students give me good lessons on cheating and the variety of it. May be that is what keep me young – to think like them. One lesson I learned was contrary to most believe, cheating happens to those who has a 3.9 or 4.0 (how do you think they got that GPA). The philosophy I have is even one student cheats, that is one too many. I told the class that my strict policy on cheating is not for my benefit as I have learned the materials. I feel offended when the cheater(s) cheat on those who actually study. May be that is such a small minority that it won't matter. When that happens, my clock will tell me it is time to retire as I will serve no purpose in education. Lets just pay the university and get a diploma. It saves time and you may even get a discount if you pay 4 years tuition in one week!!

        September 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  37. Gidraff

    Maybe I should imagine they resourced info from similar links making their work look alike but then,

    August 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  38. SokrMom

    I,for one, am astonished to hear that you can cheat on an exam at Harvard and not be kicked out. What do you have to do to be kicked out, commit a felony? I thought honest academic achievement was the reason most people got in to Harvard (I know, I'm ignoring that major portion of students who get in because of who their parents were), and also the whole purpose of being there. I guess I'm just another of those credulous saps trying to live my life with integrity, not like those extraordinary people who go to Harvard.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • SpudMeister

      Teddy Kennedy didn't get kicked out, and he had someone take his Spanish exam for him. I guess this is the "ivory tower" education – these students have been through enough already...they've learned their lesson.

      August 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  39. Dave

    Ooohhhh, now I understand how Barack got his Harvard degree. Yes, now it is clear. There is no other possible explanation. He did it in Harvard and he did it in the White House. Thanks God we have the next president of the USA Mitt Romney. There is still hope for change...

    August 31, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Mitt

      Well, just thank God you're not the president and you never got into Harvard (like it would happen), because you fail at even being grammatically correct in a comment box.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • deka

        @Mitt–I totally agree

        August 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
      • MJ

        Let's just face it....Mitt is such an accomplished man wih a very proven record of success! Oblunder in Chief has not accomplished one thing! EVER! Other than proving that Kenya is missing their village idiot! Also, when Oblunder took office, he said he was "going to stop the oceans from rising"...............HAHAHA...what a goof in chief he is!!!!! He also didn't even know there were 50 states! Guess he missed ya think!!!!

        September 1, 2012 at 9:11 am |
      • realtycheck

        I feel so sorry for your narrow view and memory loss. And you can't be from Masschusetts. What did Mitt do as governor of MA except padding his resume to run for white house so that he can get the unbelievably good health care benefit. Mitt's only achievement as governor is the health care reform that we know now as the ObamaCare. His other achievement is what he learned at Harvard, become multi-millionnaires at other people's expense. How to pay lower tax when you have more money so that the real middle class has to pay their share. Exactly how much money do you need to live a life time, a million, two, or three, or four. What are you going to do with the rest of the money, spoil the kids or bury with it. Mitt and his friends are no Warren Buffett.

        September 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • KOFI

      Romney also attended Harvard as I read, then he is also not better.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • pioneerlady

      Romney received his law degree from there.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
      • pioneerlady

        I hate it when I post before finishing – So both Romney and Obama have Harvard in their past. The question is has this always been an issue or a new one?

        August 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Lamont

      Romney too has a Harvard Degree. Is this how he got it as well?

      August 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Jgm

      Um, Romney went to Harvard as well.

      August 31, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Bugmenot


      August 31, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • C10/18

      When did this stop being about cheating and turn into a mindless, racist political rant?

      August 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • MJ

      Love Mitt Romney! What a wonderful, marvelous, class act of a gentleman he is!

      By the way, seems "funny" that Obama's "people" can't seem to give any credit at all for the wonderful, exemplary speach by Marco Rubio!! All the media that is so VERY biased in Obama's favor just can't seem to be big enough to give credit where credit is due!! Our "Twitter in Chief" needs to do something for American and stop playing TWITTER...!

      September 1, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • realtycheck

      Dave, you have to be a good republican. And like all good republicans from the Reagan years' (oh, I don't remember and we know why). Your possible hope went to Harvard for law and business. We all know what he did in business – do no harm to thy company as you do harm to others. For a christian man,I feel bad he forgets what the prayer of Lord says or the Mormon church changed the wording since I went to catholic school over 40 years ago and I am NOT a CHRISTIAN.
      I feel sorry for your memory loss. I hope the ObamaCare will be around to take care of your latter years. That is the best you can hope for.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  40. Eric R Palmer

    Big surprise! I think everyone already knew Harvard is the collection of the World's Greatest Cheaters!

    August 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  41. Robert

    So let me get this straight....

    A) Harvard exams are THAT simple? You have every resource at your fingertips and a week to complete it?
    B) Even though they are afforded all of these luxuries, they still have to cheat to get by?
    C) And, here's the kicker, these 'bright' kids CAN'T EVEN CHEAT AND NOT GET CAUGHT!

    Well done, Harvard class of 20xx, well done.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Stats Professor

      Simple? Just because one has ample resources doesn't mean a cogent, well-reasoned argument just pops onto a page. It is much more difficult to integrate divergent information than to memorize and regurgitate facts; the modern world demands that we educate students to do exactly that. This especially true if one's responses are limited to a particular word or page count. A short, well-reasoned academic argument or explanation is remarkably challenging to produce, speaking from ample experience.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • baltopaul

      It's more realistic to test whether someone can perform proper research and form and present a convincing argument than to give what amounts to little more than a vocabulary test. It's not hard to memorize some words and facts long enough to pass a test and then forget them.

      I had exams like these in grad school. They're difficult, if the grading is critical and a high standard is set for what is submitted. The problem is that people cheat on them. One of the students in my class openly boasted that she was having her "MBA Boyfriend" write her exams for her.

      That's going to be a problem with any "take home" exam, just as it has always been with any term paper.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Romulan

      Having graduated from Cornell myself, I can tell you that in my 4 years of undergrad I've never been given a take home exam. Not only that, I haven't had an exam with open anything. It's pretty rare for Cornell to have such exams. The only thing that comes even close was chemistry class by Roald Hoffman who allowed us to have 1 sheet of paper with anything you want written on it. Students who get caught cheating get expelled automatically without given a second chance and I've seen a couple of those. I've heard that Harvard is the hardest to get in, but easy to get out (graduate). Harvard also have a pretty generous curve or no curved at all in some classes. It's very easy to get an A. I was told there are many classes at Harvard that as many as 65% of students would get an A if they meet certain requirement. I find it disturbing that a large number of students have to cheat given how easy the school is.

      August 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • WDS

        That's right. In the *REAL* world we are never allowed outside resources and information when working on projects. Colleges should prepare students for this.

        (for the clueless the above is sarcastic)

        August 31, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • mklsgl

        Indeed! 3 hours, 2 Bic pens and as many Blue Books as needed. Period.

        August 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • Princeton Grad

        Cornell sucks. They have to monitor the students to insure they don't jump off into a gorge

        August 31, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
      • Romulan

        I'm not here to argue the merit of Cornell's policy on grades. I personally hate it because like princeton grad said, too much resources got wasted by school making efforts to prevent suicide. Cornell is in process of building nets so that anyone jumping off the bridge will not fall the death. Other well know cut throat schools are MIT and UC Berkeley. If you have kids make sure they are good enough to go to Harvard and not end up going to MIT or Cornell. Just a note to princeton grad. There was a professor of economics at Cornell who was from Princeton. He said Cornell gave out too few A's, so he mimic the Princeton system. He set requirements to get A's. It was something like you have to average 75% on tests, not miss a class and not miss the homework. Half of the class ended up getting an A, and he was fired the following year. I'm not making this up.

        August 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
      • Princeton Grad

        I promise he wasn't following Princeton's current grading method. Princeton prides themselves on having a cutthroat grade deflation policy-a policy that is thoroughly unpopular. It sounds like that professor was just a cupcake. There are classes at Princeton where people earn an "A' range grade only to be pushed down to a B+ because of grade deflation.

        September 1, 2012 at 12:19 am |
      • Romulan

        To Princeton Grad: That's not what I've heard from the two Princeton grads I know and from the professor who graduated from Princeton. Perhaps something changed in the past 10 years? But I doubt it. It's a well-known facts that Princeton graduated the most Hollywood stars of all Ivy League schools. The school was known to admit people with great looks that fall short of Ivy League standard. You're never going to get an accurate comparison test. The closest I had was a friend who transferred from Harvard to Cornell to be with his girlfriend and ended up doing badly at Cornell, almost 1.5 gpa lower than what he received from Harvard. But one can say the gf was a distraction so that didn't count. Again I'm not saying which school runs academic grading system better. Some school are cut-throat and Harvard (and Princeton) is definitely not one of them by general concensus.

        September 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • thepctechinjersey

      Worse yet, Robert. I read an article a while back that said while it may be hard to get into Harvard, it's very easy to graduate. I believe it was from Atlantic Magazine a few years back. Do a search for Ross Douthat on Google for the article.

      August 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  42. Dr. Richard Headly

    I also "profess" at a university. I always wanted to explore the world and its people, perhaps take on something very challenging both personally or professionally. But the real world scares me, so I never had the heart to just try a job somewhere or take on any significant challenge. The university protects me and pays me well for doing almost nothing. What's more, if I publish something like, "The Effect of Nonsense on Non-Integer Newts," I can list it on my bonafides and sound wicked smart. At this point, I begin to think that the real and true educating is being done in the public high schools in this country, where often low-paid but very dedicated men and women we rightfully call "Teachers" are truly dedicating themselves to America's future. I hope they maintain and balance their keel in keeping their personal politics out of the learning. And let's not mention sports. That's where real cheating is ignored. Take Julie Peppers from UNC. Do you really think he can read or perform computations with numbers?

    August 31, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • SokrMom

      You flunked out of college, right?

      August 31, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Jerome Barry

      Perhaps you already have tenure, because if any actual Dr. Richard Headly were not yet tenured, he'd be soon cast upon the private sector for his succor. You've got to parrot the party line when you're inside.

      August 31, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  43. NN

    Some portion of their graduates become career civil service bureaucrats, so now we know who they are.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  44. Salura

    All too often, being honest is it's only reward, being dishonest is the norm and the only way to compete with your peers, who are being dishonest. This transcends academia, and is prevalent throughout our culture.

    Being honest and doing the right thing is hard enough to do. Being honest and it being a detriment needs to change.

    Dishonesty must be seriously rooted out, honesty needs to be demanded and expected from everyone.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Robert

      This is true, there were several VERY difficult classes I took my senior year. 3/4 of the way through the semester, I was relating my difficulty to a classmate when I found out they were all cheating and blazing their way through. Honesty and hard work just gets you a bad GPA.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  45. Asok Asus

    There’ll be several resounding slaps on wrists and severe admonitions for getting caught, i.e., suitable preparation should they be caught perpetuating the adult forms of such transgressions after they go to work on wall street selling derivatives.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  46. tez07

    The first question of the exam was “Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon”? School officials became alarmed over the possibility of cheating when the entire class responded with the same answer………“But of Course!”

    August 31, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  47. eroteme

    Don't see what the problem is, cheating has become the American way. Elaborations, (slightly) false information is nomal, recommended, for our resume's. We console ourselves with reminders that 'everyone's doing it;, 'nobody's perfect' etc.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  48. Bilaggaana

    Well, that shoots the crap out of Harvard's integrety. Wonder how many politicians, would be politicians graduated from there.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  49. stevieweevie

    Ask a stupid question...

    August 31, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  50. ah pimp name slick back

    that is 3 funnies

    August 31, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  51. ah pimp name slick back

    that is 3 funnie

    August 31, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  52. Sodomite

    Whaaaaat??? Our future lawyers, politicians and Wall St. sociopaths are cheating to get ahead? I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  53. NorCalMojo

    Their entire business model is built on rich kids cheating to get prestigious degrees.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  54. Matthew

    I hated take home exams with rules because you know someone is always going to cheat on it. Either, make it a formal essay with citations or make them do it in the classroom.

    Take home exams are laziness on the part of the professors.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Jo Ann

      Take home exams actually tend to require more time for grading, and thus require more work for faculty.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
      • Be Real

        and that is why grad students do more of the grading than the professors.

        September 1, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  55. Alma12

    So, who cares?

    August 31, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • ed gein

      Apparently you do, otherwise you wouldn't have commented. You, and everyone else who says "I don't care", or "Who cares", have no idea how stupid you look when you say that.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • Sane Person

        Actually, commenting on a post does not indicate any level of caring.
        You are the one that looks like an idiot.
        But I guess someone who picks the name of a serial killer probably doesn't understand basic human interactions, like communication.

        August 31, 2012 at 10:57 am |
      • ed gein

        Who cares what you think.

        August 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  56. george

    I teach AP seniors and let me tell you, I have to watch them like a hawk, the pressure to get into these schools is so intense and these type of students have their entire existence depending on this.
    Then I also teach the 'regular' students (non AP), I wish they had the motivation TO cheat!!

    August 31, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  57. Charles

    Thanks for the one random question found on the test, CNN. Any other completly useless info to add?

    August 31, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • mike

      noticed that too...cracked up

      August 31, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  58. Barry G.

    Our contry has surely lost its way and I fear has become as corrupt as Rome, before it fell.

    I guess we can thank our leaders for thiis–both parties.

    Good job. Keep taking money from lobbyists and betraying the trust of those you've sworn to serve.

    Good job.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • mike

      true...good point about rome too...good job

      August 31, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  59. Nothing New

    This is nothing new by any means.

    In private high schools, cheating is rampant – even for the brightest of students. Kids steal final exams and entire classes are caught cheating.

    The only reason this made the news is because its harvard. Most harvard students probably cheat every day and get away with it.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  60. Barry G.

    How sad.

    August 31, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  61. Ron

    The cheated in the class "Introduction to Congress? Isn't that an automatic "A"?

    August 31, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Barry G.

      Well said!

      Do they offer a course in taking money and perks from lobbyists and selling out your country?

      Our politicians seem to do this so well–both parties.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Lee

      Not only "A" but speaker of the house or at least majority leader the day they enter congress.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  62. Mathew Thomas

    Wow...Take home test in College...What is this telling the rest of the world?

    August 31, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • anon

      why don't you glance at the exam before you make any assumptions about the take home exam

      August 31, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • baltopaul

      I had a class where the entire semester's grade was based on one paper. We had the semester to research and write it.

      That is much harder than most courses, where rote memorization is all you need.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  63. Dean Worm

    Cheating at Harvard is nothing new.
    How else could Barry have gotten through Law School ?

    August 31, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Alex Paxton

      You bettcha. O, but the irony....Congress 101....cheating.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • ncsteve

      Well, they DID expel Ted Kennedy for having someone else take an exam for him. Of course, UVA took the cheat under their wing. I wonder how much that cost ol' Papa Joe?

      August 31, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Jo Ann

      So, did Romney cheat too?

      August 31, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  64. Rae

    Here's your future politicians of America!

    August 31, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  65. oldguy68

    I am a college professor, and I occasionally give a take home exam, but NEVER in a lower level course, NEVER in a class with more than 10 students and NEVER unless I have had each student before. This course was asking for trouble.

    August 31, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • ncsteve

      Duh. But the student all signed an honor pledge, right? It IS Hahvahd.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  66. TG

    Dishonesty is common place, with many cheating on their taxes (such as claiming exemptions for things not purchased or doing sideline work and not making out an invoice or records to avoid paying any taxes), on their mates (such as "playing around" with another worker or secretary), or trying to avoid paying a bill(s). If the "lid" were pulled off all of mankind, a shockwave would occur among those who have a moral compass, to find just how many are dishonest.

    Under the Mosaic Law, the nation of Israel were commanded: "You must not commit injustice in judging, in measuring, in weighing or in measuring liquids. You should prove to have accurate scales, accurate weights, an accurate e´phah and an accurate hin. Jehovah your God I am, who have brought you out of the land of Egypt. So you must keep all my statutes and all my judicial decisions, and you must do them. I am Jehovah.’”(Lev 19:35-37)

    August 31, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  67. Since time immemorial

    Why do they cheat? Kids don't go to school to learn. They go to graduate, and by whatever means possible. Unfortunately, integrity is a word unfamiliar to many of them. "Common sense" and "the drive to excel" are terms unknown. What a pity that most children don't practice morality and honesty until later in life. Parents? Part of the problem in a good number of cases. Peer pressure is also in the mix. Pressure from home to receive good grades and fear of failure make up the rest of the problem.

    August 31, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Matthew

      Agreed, although society encourages it because there is not reward for being honest. I almost think there should be a seperate grade in school for behavior/honesty, etc. That is about as huge as intellect when it comes to jobs and success. I know as someone in the business world that having ethical people is more important in many ways then having people who are geniuses.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  68. liberal disease


    August 31, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • g3ogaddi

      racist redneck....

      August 31, 2012 at 8:01 am |
      • The truth hurts

        When the debate is lost, slander becomes the only weapon of the loser. You lost, loser.

        August 31, 2012 at 8:18 am |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        The truth hurts: and by calling someone a loser, you lose the debate. Can you comment on anything without resorting to personal attacks? It seems as though you are incapable of doing that.

        August 31, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • teila k. day

      Since his greatest accomplishments were predicated on peer and administration review, it's a pretty sure bet that Obama was not only a student at the top of his class, but one that usually had a better command of the material compared to the bulk of his classmates.

      If you want to see lackluster academics and piloting skills, check out John McCain?

      August 31, 2012 at 8:38 am |
      • ncsteve

        If all that is true, why doe BHO hide his academic work from public review? That's really the only credential he brought to the office. But it's much easier to throw out a red herring about Romney's taxes, through one of your water-carriers (Reid) PATHETIC HYPOCRISY.

        August 31, 2012 at 10:49 am |
      • mklsgl

        Hey ncsteve, if you want to know Pres. Obama's academic record, just contact Harvard and pay for his transcripts. And, if you pay for access, you can read all of Review texts.

        August 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • thepctechinjersey

        Umm no you can't request Obama's records from Harvard... or anywhere else. Obama decreed his records be sealed under EXECUTIVE ORDER 13489, which he signed on his first day in office. look it up. Facts sucks huh?

        August 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Sick


      August 31, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • jd

      You know, Romney went to the same school.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • jojo

      Didn't George Bush get his from Harvard ?

      August 31, 2012 at 9:25 am |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        Yale, I believe is where he got his BA.

        August 31, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Really? Do you have actual proof of that, or is this yet another conservative projection to make up for your own collective lack of accomplishments?

      August 31, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • zipvip

      Exactly the same way Romney got his. Both did Harvard Law. They are both playing everyone and you and I are just wasting time arguing over them. Every successful man or women becomes successful by first being selfishly taking care of their own interests. I also do charity and help people, but only for the reason that on occasion like this I have something to talk about that I am oh so compassionate and caring. I just don't care; I only do this because it helps my career. I am friends with people who are as ambitious, definitely not as successful but they are young, as these two guys are. They all think the same way. Just so that you know, that is how you in case you are getting carried away with all the wife/mother emotions. Logical and intellect not emotions are required to a degree from Harvard.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Lee

      Not like Willard who daddy payed for it. Or perhaps like the other republican intellect "C_" George W.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  69. Pete

    I thought cheating was part of the core curriculum in a government class.

    August 31, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Larry

      Best comment ever, Pete.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Wren

      Ah but they got caught.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  70. tez07

    They have time for classes....huh....I thought everyone at Harvard was involved with the crew team and whined about inventing Facebook.

    August 31, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • You thought?

      Right. Well, that's what you get for "thinking" without the proper equipment.

      August 31, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • tez07

      Lighten up, Francis

      August 31, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  71. Maximus

    First, in response to some of the posts on here, you clearly don't understand how these exams work so why are you commenting on them? These are analytical essays. They refer to extensive readings and lectures that have built upon each other over 15 weeks. This isn't a take home multiple choice quiz. You might be able to answer the question generally but, unless you were doing the assigned work, it wouldn't be an answer that took these into account and therefore would not be acceptable. Also, it doesn't have a single answer.

    I took this course the previous Spring semester and I'm not sure why anyone would find the need to cheat on one of these exams. We were given a few different questions and asked to choose one to write a 5-8 page analytical essay. There were four of these exams. These questions were pretty straight forward and were informed directly by the classwork. I've had plenty of classes that I wished were easier but this wasn't one of them. Can't believe these people would ruin their academic records to cheat on one of these.

    August 31, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • NN

      The story mentions there were 279 students in the class, but this in no way means anywhere near that number were suspected of cheating. My guess is that any copying going on was by students who were overextended in some way or did not really care enough about the course to put the time into the essay, and it was not cheating in the superficial sense of a student having no clue as to "the answer" and copying it from someone else, this looks like an introductory survey type of course and should not be all that challenging.

      August 31, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • realtycheck

      How fast can a professor read and how many TA does he have. Reading 5-8 pages response to one question for a 4-question final and then times 280. Can you imagine the time one needs to spend to read the students' paper thoroughly. The students' math have to be better than the professor's and have the number figures out (about 150 hours or 20 8-hour days if the prof. can read 1 page per minute). There is no way the prof. can catch the collaborative papers at that pace! They are not just ready for Congress, they can add, too. Congratulations!!!

      September 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  72. David

    Cheating on an "intro to congress" class seems like it should be part of the course... the students should have plenty of practice lying, cheating, and stealing so they may be successful in congress.

    August 31, 2012 at 6:46 am |
  73. khsieh1990

    For those of you making ignorant comments:

    Harvard provides need-based blind financial aid in the form of grants. The admissions committee does not see any studdnts financial information. If your family makes <$65K, you pay absolutely nothing for tuition, board, and meals for 4 years. Between $75-$150K, you only pay 10% income less outside scholarships, so you could basically still pay $0. Over 90% of all undergrads are on financial aid.

    Harvard was by far the most affordable education for me, beating out in-state schools.

    August 31, 2012 at 5:01 am |
    • jasonmooncnn

      Thanks for your comment, khsieh. The large endowments at Harvard and similar schools certainly does allow them to provide generous financial support to a large number of students. And, in turn, many of those same students later support the school financially.

      August 31, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • BOBBY

      Good comment...having a lot of experience with Ivy L schools ....if you are accepted they will find a way to let you go....and that is due to all of their huge endowments witch it seems could keep schools like Harvard running if they charged no tuition.

      August 31, 2012 at 6:12 am |
    • Cindy

      Oddly enough, this is why I'm at Harvard. I got into Oxford, but it was cost prohibitive, so Harvard it was.

      August 31, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • CarsonNoVA

      Exactly. For need-based reasons, I paid nothing at the time for my Ivy undergrad. Now, I'm quite generous in return.

      August 31, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  74. Lou Cypher

    Cheating has enough built-in punishment.
    The 'cheater' robs himself of the earned rewards of his hard work, robs himself of a fair assessment of ability.
    An acutely painful robbery given the preposterous costs of attending Harvard in the first place.
    Talk about 'investigations' is melodramatic, school admins always looking for an opportunity to crow about something.

    August 31, 2012 at 4:53 am |
    • BOBBY

      That having been said....a Harvard Deg. clearly comes with high expectations from future employers....that integrity needs to be maintained.

      August 31, 2012 at 6:13 am |
      • Sick

        Agreed. Some get away with it. Some have parents/people protecting them. I found out that it eventually wears thin when they join the real world.

        August 31, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  75. Tes Taker

    Take the test and cut-and-paste your asnwers within the comments section of this article

    August 31, 2012 at 4:31 am |
  76. Plagueonplagiarism

    Has no one at Harvard heard of Turnitin, Safe Assignment and other text matching services? Have they no idea about the widespread use of skype tutors, e-scholars, ghost academics and sites like What planet are they living on? In a recent international study, 54% of tertiary level students ADMITTED to having plagiarized at some point, some cheerfully boasting that they had never written a single paper in the 4 years leading to graduation. So how many more did not admit it?? It's a pandemic; a huge story in waiting. I am a professor and Chair of our Academic Standards Committee – our advice to profs? Use a text matching service for every submitted paper and require students to keep for possible scrutiny every scrap of paper, every print out, draft, scratch outline etc. that went into the making of a paper – no paper appears out of nowhere. Harvard, wake up for goodness sakes!!!

    August 31, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • BOBBY

      Interesting comment and true...however if one paraphrases other works is that not the same as "doing research" ? I mean one has to actually read the material one is "stealing" and incorporate it into their work , right. At what point is it stealing...?

      August 31, 2012 at 6:17 am |
      • Plagueonplagiarism

        If the paraphrase is properly cited and, of course, relevant to the paper, it's research; if it's not cited, and therefore presented as the writer's own work, it's plagiarism. Many academics are currently quaking in their shoes as their post grad dissertations and even their refereed journal papers written pre-1995 are now being put through text matching web sites. Politicians and academics are already losing their posts over this. It all boils down to personal integrity. However, if a university has not provided training to either its student body or its faculty, then, on many levels, it is being seriously negligent.

        August 31, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Bub

      Went to school in the seventies. Did well. Unfortunately was too drunk, high, or just plain stupid to think of saving time by having someone else do the work for me.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  77. a slozomby

    only future politicians need to cheat on an open book test.

    August 31, 2012 at 3:01 am |
  78. Matthew

    What's all the fuss about? It seems like these Harvard 1%-er kids are now *perfectly* prepared to be in Congress themselves. They should fit right in with all the other liars, thieves, and do-nothings.

    August 31, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • willieLove

      Well, they are the future guys who will cheat and make money off the poor.

      August 31, 2012 at 4:42 am |
  79. edvhou812

    Give them all an 'A'. Seems like they learned the most important thing about government: cheat to get ahead.

    August 31, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  80. the harvard classics

    some education's not really taking place at old Harvard

    August 31, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • NN

      ...and looks like you missed out on some basic grammar too...

      August 31, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  81. Take Home Exam

    Isn't it the Harvard professor who cheated his students out of their tuition when he gave them a take home exam?

    August 31, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Stats Professor

      By what logic do you come to this conclusion? The professor has to create and grade the exam, regardless of whether it's given in a 2-hour exam period or take-home. Speaking for myself, my take-home exams are harder because I don't have to simplify for a restricted time period with limited technology. When I give a take-home exam, I require realistic data analysis and critical responses, not canned short-answer problems scribbled in a little blank.

      August 31, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • baltopaul

      I take it you've never attended a real school.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  82. coramae

    Politicians in training!

    August 31, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  83. nacho

    the first rule of fight club......

    August 31, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  84. harvard cheaters

    Talk about an easy exam. I could write an A answer to that stupid question in 10 minutes.

    August 31, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Avalancherok

      You must be the Professor who wrote the question paper then.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Jo Ann

      Somehow I doubt it would be as soundly researched and argued as would be expected for an A in this class. An easy question is not the same as an easy answer. The expectations would be quite high in this situation.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  85. sparky

    Trying hard is for stupid 99-percenters like me. These kids have shown they've got what it takes.

    August 31, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  86. Harvardt H. Cunningham

    why tell kids they can have an open note open book open internet exam and not talk to each other? That's stupid. That's like saying "Do whatever you want." and then having these weird guidelines where talking to someone about it is completely unethical. You can murder that guy, but assault him.

    August 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • benCanard

      Yea, it's just like God telling Adam and Eve you can eat anything you like except one fruit. Completely unfair.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  87. Mike

    The probe concluded that those students who cheated will receive an A, given that they have proven their grasp of Congressional procedure and conduct

    August 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Mel

      🙂 Nice!

      August 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  88. paul

    Harvard and most of the Ivy League schools are really not that academically rigorous. They do all their "weeding out" on the front end admitting only the best, brightest, and well connected. As private schools that rely on alumni donations, they have a huge economic incentive to let students coast through.

    August 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • sparky

      Cornell is less selective at the front end, but getting through it is not easy. Besides, you have to live in Ithaca.

      August 31, 2012 at 12:18 am |
      • Cliff

        Ithaca is gorges!

        August 31, 2012 at 7:59 am |
      • sparky

        Says Cliff, no pun intended 😉

        August 31, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  89. SuperJimJam

    In my college, if I cheat I get kicked out. In Harvard you get a smack on the wrist and a degree. Money talks, and unfortunately my parents can't afford Harvard.

    August 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • paul

      Don't flatter yourself. You couldn't get in to Harvard.

      August 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
      • Norman


        August 31, 2012 at 3:36 am |
    • Next

      Families with annual household income under $75,000 pay nothing to go to Harvard. Get a clue before you bash a place you know nothing about. You may not like the elite academic schools, but they are the only ones that offer need-blind full financial aid packages. There are only 6 schools that do this for all applicants.

      August 30, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • khsieh1990

      90% of Harvard students are on financial aid. As someone that grew up in blue collar NY, Harvard was still the cheapest school for me by FAR.

      August 31, 2012 at 4:51 am |
  90. bill paish

    quite appropiate for preparing for the U.S. congress

    August 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • MAC

      You forgot President, government worker/supervisor, and Senate. With the Ivy League graduates we see in Washington, it makes one wonder what the Ivy League Schools are producing. Also, one can blame the high schools and system where students cheat to get the scores and grades to get into eliite schools and not being properly punished for their actions.

      August 31, 2012 at 3:07 am |
  91. sharky

    ""We take academic integrity very seriously because it goes to the heart of our educational mission," said Michael D. Smith, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, in a written statement."

    What a load, given Harvard and other Ivy leagues schools have GRADE INFLATION!!

    August 30, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Bkapzb

      Totally ignorant. Unlike most schools, Harvard, Yale and others do not practice grade inflation but aim to keep grades constant. Princeton goes even further, now on a policy of grade deflation, so that receiving a B there is equivalent to receiving an A at other schools.

      August 31, 2012 at 6:02 am |
      • Ciara O'Toole

        Wish that were the case Bkapzb, but alas. I can't speak for Yale or other schools, but grade inflation is rampant at Harvard. Ask anyone who goes here.

        August 31, 2012 at 7:43 am |
      • Princeton Grad

        It's well known that grades at Harvard are inflated. In fact, they are often referred to as "gentleman's As." because an A from Harvard is pretty easy to get.

        September 1, 2012 at 12:21 am |
      • sharky

        LOL Wow are you behind in the times man. LOL

        It has been WELL known that Harvard practices grade inflation. LOL. A study was even done among the top schools in the nation.

        Wake up, oh ignorant one.

        September 1, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  92. OhRly ThaOwl

    Woooow.... What would you expect??

    "A copy of the take-home exam found on Harvard's website shows that it laid out a series rules for students to follow.

    "The exam is completely open book, open note, open internet, etc.," the instructions begin. "However, in all other regards, this should fall under similar guidelines that apply to in-class exams. More specifically, students may not discuss the exam with others ... this includes resident tutors, writing centers, Etc."

    We live in a technology world, and I bet half of those students used wikipedia for references. Besides... 8 out of 10 'students' who get into an Ivy League school are accepted solely on who their parents are and how much they donated to the school.

    August 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • ms

      "students may not discuss the exam with others"
      I would interpret this as "students may not discuss the exam with nonstudents"
      otherwise it would say
      "students may not discuss the exam"

      August 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • bjohns23

      Of course they referenced the internet. It was completely permissible under the rules of the exam. The problem is that students collaborated on it, thus the blatant similarities. But, yes, money definitely talks. This was a BS exam and this is the education we promote these days. People are too focused on grades instead of forming their own opinions and backing them up with rational arguments.

      August 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  93. Phil

    So this is an issue yet the grade inflation encouraged by the school is legit?

    August 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • sharky

      LOL We thought the same thing.
      Well ya know Harvard has to keep their "integrity and academic standing" somehow.

      August 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  94. Indy Chris

    These kids should make for some interesting American Greed episodes in the future.

    August 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  95. Mooseloose

    It was a take home test. What did you expect?

    August 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Amanda Guyton

      Integrity? I always remind my students that I can use Google, and if I catch them plagiarizing, they fail. Right in the syllabus. I've found taking it further only leads to the investigation being about me, instead of the plagiarizing student. But if they insist, I happily report to the dean what happened, complete with links to the websites they cut and pasted from, and a color-coded print-out of their essay showing which paragraphs were cut and pasted from which sites (when there are multiples. Usually there's just one.)

      August 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  96. greatgreat420

    I am a student at Ashford University One year for this situation is fairly light I would atleast go for two?

    August 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • GNesich

      For two try forever! I go to Ashford U as well.... I've seen professors report students for expulsion from the University for cheating and/or plagiarism. I do wish I had known Harvard would've been free if I had applied... I'm poor!....Wouldn't give my Ashford U experience back though they are an absolutely dedicated staff!... 🙂

      August 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  97. Lefty Capuccino

    Lol! No different than what goes on at the local community college, only this is 20x the cost. I can wait till a few years from now when some of these cheating students decide to run for congress...they'll feel right at home.

    August 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Amanda Guyton

      I teach for a community college. When this happens, we flunk 'em. We don't wait.

      August 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
      • teila k. day

        Please. Cheating at a community college (including yours) like most universities on the planet is as common as breathing.

        August 31, 2012 at 8:45 am |
      • Jo Ann

        I teach at a community college also, and I have the same policy.

        August 31, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • James B

        If you go to a community college, you have already failed. Don't make their sad life even worse.

        August 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  98. TeacherStudent

    Smart kids can be dumb too. Just because they're at Harvard doesn't mean that they won't take advantage when they see an opportunity. Also, Ivy league doesn't mean high morals any more than it means tweed blazers with elbow patches. I'm not really that shocked by the article.

    August 30, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
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