Cheating by Chinese students is rampant

Cheating by Chinese students is rampant, by Eduardo Neret.

Zinch China, a consultancy firm, found that 80 percent of Chinese students use agents to apply to U.S. colleges, with even more engaging in cheating. The company approximated that 90 percent of recommendation letters and 70 percent of college essays submitted by Chinese students are fraudulent. Additionally, 50 percent of previous grade transcripts are also fake. Ten percent lied about academic or extracurricular achievements, and 30 percent lied about financial aid information.

Surveys indicate Chinese families see a U.S. education as a luxury that can provide future financial benefits, which drives the “whatever it takes” culture surrounding the application process and the fraud committed to achieve it. Zinch China also noted the competition among college consultants and the pressure from parents also contributed to cheating.

“Cheating is pervasive in China, driven by hyper-competitive parents and aggressive agents,” Tom Melcher, the chairman of Zinch China said. …

Peggy Blumenthal, senior counselor to the president of the Institute of International Education, says colleges began to more heavily recruit Chinese international students after the Great Recession when college enrollment was on the decline. Agents can cost anywhere from thousands of dollars, or even up to $40,000 according to the Beijing Overseas Study Service Association. Foreign Policy even discovered a family that paid $90,000 to an agent.

In one example from 2015, CNN reported on a Chinese student named Jessica Zhang from Jiangsu Province. Zhang’s family paid $4,500 to three different consultants, who filled out her application and wrote her essay and recommendation letter. Zhang even had her visa arranged by the consultants and said she hired them because the process would’ve been “too much hassle” on her own. …

While federal laws prevent higher education institutions from paying to recruit domestic students, there is no law to prevent them from paying commissions to recruit international students. …

Some companies even help students cheat on the SAT. Because of security issues with the College Board over the last few years, which owns the SAT, some overseas companies have obtained the answer keys to the test. …

An analysis by the Wall Street Journal found that records of cheating for international students at more than a “dozen large” U.S. public universities were five times greater than that of American students. At some universities, the reported cases of cheating among international students were eight times higher than domestic students.

Tough to compete against fellow students who cheat.