Service of Who Are Students Cheating–Themselves or Future Employers &/or Customers?

August 26th, 2019

Categories: Academia, Academics, Cheating, Students


I’ve written previously about high school and college students paid to take tests for others and ghost writers who draft college and grad student papers for a fee. A newer twist to student cheating is brought to us via the web: hundreds of sites claim to offer tutoring but actually sell offers to complete assignments with original work.

According to Tawnell D. Hobbs in The Wall Street Journal, “As the school year starts off, colleges and high schools are increasing steps to spot and fight a persistent form of cheating in which students find someone online to do their homework.”

The paltry and lackluster solutions offered in the article don’t portend much success. And it sure has taken schools a long time to wake up. One participant in the article said he’d worked for the cheating websites for a decade and he stopped eight years ago.

Because they won’t want to pay for multiple drafts, posits Hobbs, some high school teachers require multiple drafts thinking that some “aren’t likely to pay someone” for more than one. This doesn’t sound like an effective preventative to me–how much does it cost to copy a few pages?

Other teachers have students increase the work they do in class. Fine, but this solution doesn’t address cheating on homework.

Some public school districts, such as Wake County’s in Cary, N.C. have upped the punishment–the severest being suspension.

Hobbs reported that students should expect to pay from $15 to a few hundred dollars for their homework assignments. One fixer out of Tulsa charges on average $20-$30 for math, chemistry and physics. The person was so bold as to be interviewed by this prominent reporter and allow his name to be published. I’ve deliberately not mentioned his name.

Another participant in the article said that for 10 years and until 2011 he earned $60,000/year working for the cheating websites. “’I would take students through entire semesters. Once they’ve used your words,’ it’s hard for them to start turning in their own work without getting caught, he said.”


Tricia Bertram Gallant, director of the Academic Integrity Office at the University of California—San Diego told Hobbs “We as a society have let this get out of control. We’ve reached a new level when people are willing to admit they do this for a living.”

Hobbs reported that “a Wall Street Journal review of 100 websites offering tutoring help or writing services, or both, found they promise custom high-school and college work. Some websites offer to run work through anti-plagiarism programs to prove it is original.”

Students are also bold to admit that they cheat!

According to Hobbs student gripes with the websites include missed deadlines or poor work “according to complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and online reviews.”

Will I need to wonder if my appendix or other body part is being removed or repaired by a doctor who, in med school, paid someone to complete that particular procedure’s homework? What happens to these students when they get a job–can they perform? Does the cheating ever stop? Were you an instructor would you implement pop quizzes so as to compare the quality of work with what you received in homework assignments? Is there a solution with teeth?



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6 Responses to “Service of Who Are Students Cheating–Themselves or Future Employers &/or Customers?”

  1. Helen Rabinovitz Said:

    The sad thing is cheating students usually have parents who told them it’s okay to cheat. The question is…what else will they cheat at or who might they cheat on? Once you start life by lying when does it stop? I guess there’s no good or simple answer. Honesty is the best policy needs to prevail! Just my opinion for whatever it’s worth.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I’m with you and you said it best. Maybe the parents didn’t give the go-ahead in so many words but maybe they also cheat. It is so much easier to be honest and it helps sleep at night! I’ve found that when things haven’t worked out if I can say to myself “you did everything you could on the up and up” I’m better able to accept and get over the consequences whether professional or personal.

  3. Hank Goldman Said:

    Frightening topic! One hope is for a New honest president to set higher standards!!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    This particular kind of cheating apparently has been going on for some 20 years and the schools haven’t bent over backwards to stop it. I don’t know if an honest President will help. We had one for two terms and here we still are. Just think: a third of the country collectively shrugs at appalling behavior and lack of ethics. I don’t know when the expression “All’s fair in love and war” expanded to “in every other aspect of your life just so you WIN!”

  5. Lucrezia Said:

    There are as many reasons to cheat as there are those who do. If anyone sees the practice as going away, forget it!

    I was one of those who had fun running ringtails around authorities, until it got boring. Eventually I got some idea of acting responsibly as well.

    Cheating is theft, and the biggest loser is the cheat. Sadly, the realization often comes too late. Among the biggest offenders are parents who terrify children into getting grades they are unable to achieve. Let’s face it, it’s a game where everyone loses. A possible remedy is self respect, which is most effective when it starts at home.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Great point that hadn’t occurred to me as I wrote the post—parents who frighten their kids to achieve top grades that are not possible leading to desperate measures. I almost feel sorry for them—-the operative word being almost.

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