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Posted: Wednesday, 25 September 2013 6:41AM

Colleges are rife with cheating?

A new survey out of Harvard shows the incoming class of freshman is much more likely to cheat than the students were just four years earlier. 

If even the best and brightest college students are cheating, a local expert says it's probably widespread, and that's been the trend in various recent studies. 

Criminology and sociology expert George Capowich is a professor at Loyola University in New Orleans and he says men are more likely to cheat than women. Recruited athletes were the most likely to admit to academic dishonesty at Harvard, and "The more competitive people see themselves, then the more likely they are to cheat," says Capowich.

Has there been a change in morality?

Capowich says merit is seen now as more subjective, and that "Failure and mistakes are just not acceptable, not seen as learning opportunities or a chance to figure things out, but rather as some stain on them."

The Harvard student newspaper "The Crimson" conducted a confidential survey of incoming freshman and found 4 out of ten admit to cheating on at least homework, "Across the board, the incoming freshman class reported higher rates of cheating than did Harvard's Class of 2013 in a Crimson senior survey conducted last spring," the paper reports. "In that survey, 7 percent of graduating seniors said they had cheated on an exam, and 7 percent said they had cheated on a paper or take-home test. Thirty-two percent of graduating seniors said they cheated on a problem set or homework assignment during their undergraduate careers."

For the Class of 2017, 10% admit to cheating on an exam "The Crimson" says, while 42% admit to cheating on homework.

Click here for the survey from The Crimson

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