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Academic Dishonesty


allijeng
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So I got cheating during my college freshmen year and received an F on that course. I was on probation but my official transcript does not show anything but the F and only when grad schools go look for it they will find out about it. I'm applying to grad school now and one of the school does not have a question asking about any probation or suspension but they do have a supplement essay option. Should I disclose my academic dishonesty and explain that F or just let it slide and hope to God they don't think much of it?

Edited by allijeng
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I do not recommend adding supplemental essays unless something was requested from the department- especially about academic dishonesty. That is better left for a face to face conversation. One F freshman year should not be a coffin in your application. The committee is likely to dismiss it if the rest of your academics are strong.

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If you signed an agreement with your undergraduate university that you'll take the F and there will be no official paperwork attached to your transcript associated with it, then I would avoid disclosing it at all costs. Definitely do not write an essay in reference to it unless you are specifically asked. Did your academics show improvement once you got to upper levels? They'll probably assume it was just a general Freshman mistake instead of cheating.

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Thanks for your insight. My academics is not that strong (GPA 3.0) but I do have 2-3 years of relevant work experiences and strong LOR from my managers. 

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My grades fluctuated quite a bit but generally there is a slight upward trend during my junior and senior year. Also, one more question, if the schools only provides a space for explanation (instead of letting you upload a document), how long should the explanation be? It does not have word limit but the space is fairly small. Thanks in advance!

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4 hours ago, allijeng said:

if the schools only provides a space for explanation (instead of letting you upload a document), how long should the explanation be? It does not have word limit but the space is fairly small. Thanks in advance!

As a general rule: do not provide information that wasn't required, but if a school does ask, *do not lie*. I've seen students get in much bigger messes by lying than they would have ever gotten into by telling the truth. (I know you didn't ask or suggest otherwise, but it's worth repeating anyway.) As for the actual explanation, you should keep it short and factual: when the offense took place, what the outcome was, how it was a one-time thing that never repeated itself, how you take responsibility and have grown since. 3-4 sentences, tops. 

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