Academic dilemma...possible expulsion from Ivy League school

bka6827

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Here is a pre-med dilemma for you all.....

One of my ex-classmates has a 3.93 at an Ivy League university. She is a junior and a biology major/pre-med. Two weeks ago, she received a grade of 96 on her chemistry midterm, but she needed a 98 to receive an A+. She decided to cheat and change a two point question to the correct answer when she received the exam back and submit it for a regrade. Unknown to her, the professor had photocopied the original exam and compared her original to the regrade and they were different. She was immediately placed on academic probation and the honor council decided to give her a harsh punishment to set an example for other students who would consider cheating. She will either:
(A) be expelled or
(B) fail her chemistry class, withdraw from all of her classes this semester, and be suspended for two extra semesters (Spring and Fall 2009)

She still expressed hopes of returning to her original college (if she is not expelled). If she is, she will finish up her undergraduate career at another college. She desperately wants to be a physician and is a deeply empathetic person, but with this large stain on her record, is there ANY REMOTE CHANCE she could get into an allopathic medical school or will this essentially prevent her from that?
 

p30doc

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I don't know the answer to your question, but LOL @ cheating for 2 points and to go from an A to an A+. Where is the pay off for this crime, there isn't even a gpa difference between the two grades. Serves her right if she gets in trouble.
 
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Lukkie

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if someone is willing to cheat to improve their grade from an A to an A+, we've got a far bigger issue than medical school admissions at hand...
 

bka6827

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I totally agree. It was a greedy and ridiculous thing to do. She may have ruined her future for 2 points on a Chemistry exam.
 

Scean

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gotta love the "friend" threads.....

Anyway, seriously? The 3.93 and another A to go on the transcript just wasn't quite good enough? I'd just have to say tough ****.

I could maybe be a bit less disgusted if a teacher had really screwed someone over and they were getting a C- instead of a C (which at my school causes you to retake a required course; "C or better policy") and they decided to cheat. On second thought, no its disgusting no matter the circumstance.
 

pianola

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I don't know the answer to your question, but LOL @ cheating for 2 points and to go from an A to an A+. Where is the pay off for this crime, there isn't even a gpa difference between the two grades.

There is at Columbia...

(yeah, at most schools there isn't. Kind of a ridiculous distinction, I think.)
 

mezmerized7

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Wow! She might (operative word-might) be able to get into an allopathic school, but she would have some serious explaining to do. I know for sure this situation will hinder her chances from getting accepted into schools that would have taken her without hesitation with an A for Chem with her GPA at an Ivy league...wow! I can't understand why someone would do that...but I guess we all make mistakes. Some consequences are just worse than others, I guess. :confused:
 

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I am glad some schools actually take integrity seriously. At my school no action is taken, although threatened because of fear of lawsuits. A professor might give an F on the exam, but no one gets expelled.
 
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JaggerPlate

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I hope it was worth it. Throwing away YEARS of hard work for 2 points on an exam you already aced. Probably won't get in with that kind of cut throat/dishonest mark on record. Pre meds need to step back and look at the big picture sometimes. Best of luck to your friend ...
 

Demas567

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She desperately wants to be a physician and is a deeply empathetic person, but with this large stain on her record, is there ANY REMOTE CHANCE she could get into an allopathic medical school

No, she can kiss her medical school dreams goodbye. :smuggrin:
 

pianola

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At my school no action is taken, although threatened because of fear of lawsuits. A professor might give an F on the exam, but no one gets expelled.

That's what I was thinking. Although, I have to admit, I've never tried to find out what would happen if I cheated.
 

mezmerized7

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I'm still in a mini state of shock...and am now happy (after 3 years) for my low grade in Organic Chem.
 

joshmell

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I can't believe someone would risk everything they're working for, all for a better A. Best of luck to the offender, but from what you've said the situation looks pretty grim.
 
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135892

Here is a pre-med dilemma for you all.....

One of my ex-classmates has a 3.93 at an Ivy League university. She is a junior and a biology major/pre-med. Two weeks ago, she received a grade of 96 on her chemistry midterm, but she needed a 98 to receive an A+. She decided to cheat and change a two point question to the correct answer when she received the exam back and submit it for a regrade. Unknown to her, the professor had photocopied the original exam and compared her original to the regrade and they were different. She was immediately placed on academic probation and the honor council decided to give her a harsh punishment to set an example for other students who would consider cheating. She will either:
(A) be expelled or
(B) fail her chemistry class, withdraw from all of her classes this semester, and be suspended for two extra semesters (Spring and Fall 2009)

She still expressed hopes of returning to her original college (if she is not expelled). If she is, she will finish up her undergraduate career at another college. She desperately wants to be a physician and is a deeply empathetic person, but with this large stain on her record, is there ANY REMOTE CHANCE she could get into an allopathic medical school or will this essentially prevent her from that?

:lol:

Pre-meds...
 
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Twiigg

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I can't imagine actually being confronted by the professor about doing that! Was she called into her office hours or something? I didn't know a professor would take the time to photocopy every single test! How many students were in the class?
 

silverhorse84

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I can't imagine actually being confronted by the professor about doing that! Was she called into her office hours or something? I didn't know a professor would take the time to photocopy every single test! How many students were in the class?

I've had several professors who tell us at the beginning of the quarter they do this - give us a sort of warning. I don't know how many other do it, and never tell us (like it sounds like happened here).
 
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Twiigg

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I didn't know people would have the balls to do this! I have never even thought of doing that... I would probably wet myself.
 

HrryUpNwait

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In all reality- she's probably screwed. The only saving grace could be if she explained in a killer PS how she was caught up in the race for the grade and the line between right and wrong was blurred. She made a mistake. She felt ashamed and took time off to re-evaluate herself morally and "look in the mirror". After time, she realized the person she had become and wanted to change to the way she looked at life. It would have to be one incredible essay and find the desk of the right (forgiving) adcom. It's more than likely that they will look at as "once a cheater always a cheater", but it's possible to use it to show an ethical awakening in her maturation process bla blah blah....
 

aebvd97

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Yeah, they actually photocopied all of our Physics tests when I took that class, and a similar thing happened to a girl in the class, and she I believe failed the class (and I'm sure had a stain in her record).

As for your friend, I highly doubt that she will be able to get into medical school. It was clear that before this event, she was on the track towards great success with her applications, pending a good score on the MCAT. While it was clearly bad judgment on her part, I do feel pity for her; we all make stupid decisions, hers was just a little more stupid than the average. I'm sure there is some possibility she could some how take this event in stride and still apply to medical school, but a considerable amount of explanation would have to be provided, and I don't know how many schools would accept any explanation at all.

I wish your friend the best, but I definitely hope she has already learned for making such a silly choice.
 

bka6827

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The ridiculous thing about this situation is that the class was warned at the beginning of the semester. Whether or not he reminded them throughout the semester, I don't know. I do know that it is a big chemistry class (I took the same class there 2 years prior with the same professor) and that we were reminded before every exam that all work must be done in pen if we wanted a regrade and all exams will be photocopied. She thought she would get away with something that is so closely monitored!
 

redlight

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She still expressed hopes of returning to her original college (if she is not expelled). If she is, she will finish up her undergraduate career at another college. She desperately wants to be a physician and is a deeply empathetic person, but with this large stain on her record, is there ANY REMOTE CHANCE she could get into an allopathic medical school or will this essentially prevent her from that?
:eek: wow all for 2pts and an A+. how sad...

well, honestly, idk if she can be accepted right after school but if she takes time off, goes into the real world and claims shes a different person later (lol) i think some school (Caribbean) may show mercy.... maybe? actually, no i still think shes screwed.

I don't know the answer to your question, but LOL @ cheating for 2 points and to go from an A to an A+. Where is the pay off for this crime, there isn't even a gpa difference between the two grades. Serves her right if she gets in trouble.

There is at Columbia...

(yeah, at most schools there isn't. Kind of a ridiculous distinction, I think.)
yea columbia and cornell are the first schools that come to mind in the ivy league where A+ is like 4.33/4.25 or so

But doesn't AMCAS still consider it a 4.0, so it's no different from an A?
yep
I can't imagine actually being confronted by the professor about doing that! Was she called into her office hours or something? I didn't know a professor would take the time to photocopy every single test! How many students were in the class?
maybe the TAs do it for the prof.?
 

Greonis

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What exactly is the dilemma being brought up here? From what I can tell, the individual being discussed already made the (ludicrous) choice to take a risk that did not pay off. All that remains now is for the magnitude of the ramifications (expulsion, a failing grade, etc...) to be determined. It would only be a dilemma if she were still contemplating the exam modifications (which she is not).

With regards to whether or not she can ever matriculate at an allopathic school, I would not say that it is impossible, but she definitely has placed herself at the base of a very steep mountain. She'll have to climb extra hard to make up for this wrongdoing, for this is something that not even a superlative GPA and MCAT score make up for (especially when you take into account that such an incident brings the validity of those numbers into question). She should be prepared to take plenty of time off after graduating and demonstrate through both her experiences and writing that she has learned from this mistake and is dedicated to becoming a physician that adheres to honorable standards.
 

singularity2012

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Could we perhaps turn down the douche dial prior to responding? I'm sure many of us have been dishonest at least once during our days of desperation (aka pre-med undergrad), but very few of us have actually been caught.

What happened to your friend was very unfortunate, and although the punishment was harsh, it now in the past, and she must move on from this. She definitely has a shot at an allopathic school. If the rest of her academic record is excellent, and she has a good mcat score, then she must let the adcoms know - both in the amcas personal statement and in the secondaries - that she made a huge mistake, and that she learned from it/became a better person as a result. I suggest that she take some time off after ugrad to dedicate herself to something that will reflect a growing maturity, as well as compassion. Something that screams commitment. Maybe Peace Corps?

In any case, know that plenty of people in her situation have gotten into med school. We all have obstacles (some bigger than others) to overcome in order to get into med school, but it all works out in the end if one really wants it badly enough.
 

pianola

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With regards to whether or not she can ever matriculate at an allopathic school, I would not say that it is impossible, but she definitely has placed herself at the base of a very steep mountain. She'll have to climb extra hard to make up for this wrongdoing, for this is something that not even a superlative GPA and MCAT score make up for (especially when you take into account that such an incident brings the validity of those numbers into question). She should be prepared to take plenty of time off after graduating and demonstrate through both her experiences and writing that she has learned from this mistake and is dedicated to becoming a physician that adheres to honorable standards.

Yeah, I have to admit, I don't quite understand why people are saying "She will never in this lifetime make it into medical school." Obviously, getting expelled isn't going to help one's chances of getting into medical school, but time and good behavior can make up for a lot of past mistakes. Life doesn't end after your senior year of college...
 
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Handyman73

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Med schools have zero sense of humor about dishonesty. If you're a little dumb, they can make you smarter. But if you have been a dishonest person, it is generally impossible to prove that you have become an honest one.
 

aznb0y129

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Yeah, I have to admit, I don't quite understand why people are saying "She will never in this lifetime make it into medical school." Obviously, getting expelled isn't going to help one's chances of getting into medical school, but time and good behavior can make up for a lot of past mistakes. Life doesn't end after your senior year of college...

I think it's worse than just cheating because it's cheating in such a ridiculous scenario. She obviously didn't need the 2 points since she was in line for an A but she thought she could get away with it despite the explicit warnings and took an unnecessary risk for something that ultimately wouldn't have paid huge dividends anyway (A vs A+). If anything, she comes off as not only dishonest and a cheater, but also reckless and a maverick (I hate using that word post-election).

"Getting caught up in the race for grades" would really apply more for someone who was incredibly desperate, probably failing the class and trying to salvage a decent grade by resorting to cheating. I don't think an adcom is going to buy that excuse for someone who tried to get a 98 when they already had a 96.
 

Demas567

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The only saving grace could be if she explained in a killer PS how she was caught up in the race for the grade and the line between right and wrong was blurred. She made a mistake. She felt ashamed and took time off to re-evaluate herself morally and "look in the mirror". After time, she realized the person she had become and wanted to change to the way she looked at life.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 

scottyT

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I can't imagine actually being confronted by the professor about doing that! Was she called into her office hours or something? I didn't know a professor would take the time to photocopy every single test! How many students were in the class?
maybe the TAs do it for the prof.?

Those big Xerox network copiers can scan things using the page feeder. If you take all the staples out and just stack them up in alphabetical order it's only a matter of setting the thing to scan. It organizes everything into a big .pdf (or whatever format you choose). This takes only about as long as it would to copy a large stack of papers (a few hundred pages a minute).

This is a great way to digitize all your class notes/old homework/exams if you don't want to keep the papers in a buried away box.
 

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Such stupidity.

Especially considering that an A and an A+ are both treated as 4.0 on the AMCAS scale.

This has probably destroyed any chance she has at being a doctor out of undergrad. She'll probably need to go the non-trad route after a few years of proving that she's matured as an individual.
 

pianola

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I think it's worse than just cheating because it's cheating in such a ridiculous scenario. She obviously didn't need the 2 points since she was in line for an A but she thought she could get away with it despite the explicit warnings and took an unnecessary risk for something that ultimately wouldn't have paid huge dividends anyway (A vs A+). If anything, she comes off as not only dishonest and a cheater, but also reckless and a maverick (I hate using that word post-election).

"Getting caught up in the race for grades" would really apply more for someone who was incredibly desperate, probably failing the class and trying to salvage a decent grade by resorting to cheating. I don't think an adcom is going to buy that excuse for someone who tried to get a 98 when they already had a 96.

Yeah, point taken.

But at the same time, in applying to medical school, I don't think the offender will have to explain the scenario in more depth than "expelled for dishonesty on an assignment".

I mean, if she DOES explain it in more depth, then she's compounding dishonesty with stupidity. Well...even more stupidity.

And, she still has a 3.93 (perhaps this will be brought down slightly by the F). So she's not uncompetitive grade-wise...
 

HeatherMD

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she's ****ed.

And the photocopying of exams is not uncommon.. a few profs I have had have done the same -- though they also have the policy that submitting an exam for re-grade, subjects the ENTIRE exam to a re-grade, and more often than not, while the prof will throw those extra points at the question you think you deserve them on, they will also REMOVE points from other questions where you were marked leniently.

I don't think she has a shot at medical school, and frankly, I don't think she deserves one. I know that's super-harsh, but I've always assumed it's just a well-accepted fact that cheating will ruin your life.
At my school, cheating results in an F8 on your transcript. The 8 designates academic dishonesty, and COMPLETELY disqualifies you from professional or graduate school, and more so, you are NOT ALLOWED to take ANY further courses from the entire department! If she cheated in Chemistry here and was caught like that, she would be ban't!

Like I said, you're friend is ****ed -- and she totally earned it.
 

Retsage

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Pianola, I disagree. A 3.93 is meaningless if she is a proven cheater. If she got caught once, the question becomes what percentage of her GPA is legit due to hard work and intelligence, and what percentage is due to all those times she cheated but didn't get caught? She can claim that it was the only time she cheated, but she has already shown herself lacking in integrity - why would anyone trust her word?
 
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