12 Effects of Cheating in College: Examples and Solutions

Effects of Cheating in College

Consequences of Cheating in College

While cheating in college is considered a quick way of earning grades by some students, it is a disaster in reality. The effects of cheating in college can be serious, ranging from personal consequences to academic dents in your educational journey.

To avoid these impacts, adopt solutions aimed at earning the grade in the right way. Let us explore these consequences in detail.

Consequences of Cheating in College

academic cheating

The main effects of cheating in college are course failure, suspension, expulsion, lack of confidence, and ruined academic integrity.

Other consequences of cheating in school include the inability to get jobs, disrespect in society, and erosion of character and independence, in addition to other psychological impacts when caught.

1. Cheating can lead to Class Failure

Different colleges have different ways of imposing academic penalties on students who cheat on exams and assignments.

Some universities may consider the severity of cheating before punishing, while others do not. In some colleges, when there is cheating in the form of plagiarism in your paper, you fail that particular assignment or exam.

When you are caught cheating during an examination, you fail the class. You cannot proceed to the next. As we discussed in why cheating is wrong, cheating hampers the progress of your learning process, which makes it not worth trying.

Legal consequences occur when students steal copyrighted works from other people. Copyright infringement occurs when students use the contents of other people’s work and publish them as their own.

This can result in the real owner of the work suing the student for any damages that may have resulted due to the infringement.

Though most instances of cheating in colleges do not rise to copyright infringement levels, it is important to note that it is still a possibility.  

3. Cheating leads to Suspension and expulsion

Cheating leads to Suspension and expulsion

These are some of the harsh punishments caused by cheating in institutions.

The severity of cheating punishable through these methods varies from institution to institution.

Mostly, they are applied when cheating is egregious or when the student has been caught cheating again.

Suspension involves being sent away from school for a particular period (varies as per institution), while expulsion involves the student being sent away for good.

4. Academic reputation

When students are suspended or expelled from colleges due to cheating allegations, the reasons for these harsh penalties can be included in the student’s transcript.

This will damage the student’s academic reputation. The student will not be able to transfer to a new school or transfer to a university.

People who know you have been involved in cheating will always question your academic capabilities. They can even tell other people about your cheating instances.

5. Cheating makes it hard to secure a Job

When your transcript shows that you cheated in college, securing a job becomes almost an impossibility. Nobody wants to employ an incompetent person.

It will still be hard even if you mend your ways thereafter. Some employees who have studied psychology. While the other effects of cheating in college are temporary, the inability to get jobs after school is more permanent as it is felt even after school.

Through knowledge of the broken window theory, they believe that anyone involved in cheating can do it again and again. They will not want at all to risk their companies.

6. Cheating can cost you a scholarship

Your academic transcripts play a huge role in the event of you being offered scholarships. Your transcript must be complete with good recommendations from your instructors or institution.

When your transcript shows that you were involved in exam cheating, you will have no chance of getting a scholarship. If you have a scholarship and get involved in cheating, the scholarship is immediately terminated.

7. Creation of a false character

Some students involved in cheating in college exams may complete their course successfully without being caught.

This means that all the documents and certificates that the college gives the student are not a representation of the student’s capabilities. This is what creates a false character.

The documents show that you are fit for a certain position in the workplace, but in the real sense, you have little or no knowledge about that field.

8. Cheating in school erodes your independence

can't do it without

Students who cheat in colleges lack independence. They do not believe that they can make it on their own. They do not believe in their reasoning capabilities.

This character grows, and the student can carry it thereafter. Even at workplaces, such students become inefficient. They will not perform.

In addition, students who cheat in college become highly dependent on resources, meaning they do not add value to the company. They end up getting fired.

9. Cheating in school prevents progress

We go to school to learn. The courses we learn are vital in our development in academic, social, and economic development.

Students who cheat in examinations prove they have not learned well and are looking for success shortcuts. To avoid such issues, check our essay cheat sheet and learn how to avoid the negatives of cheating in college.

This means that students who are involved in cheating will not make any progress because they are not learning the skills that will build them in the future unless they start afresh.

10. Cheating in universities causes stress

Every institution has put measures in place to curb cheating. Cheating in exams is, therefore, not an easy decision for students.

Consequences that may befall you if caught, the worry of being caught, and the reactions of your family and friends if caught must cross your mind.

After cheating, you will always be insecure if you suspect that somebody knows what you did. These thoughts can cause psychological torture and can easily cause stress.

11. Cheating in School brings Embarrassment

The way people around you treat and view you once you are caught cheating causes stress. They will disregard you and lose trust in you.

They will view you as a lazy, unintelligent, incompetent, disrespectful, selfish, mean, and careless person. When you are expelled from school, you will feel embarrassed as you carry your belongings home.

Being barred from joining a university because you cheated causes disappointment and embarrassment too. This is perhaps the most discouraging of all the effects of cheating in college.

12. Cheating is a form of disrespect.

Cheating in college examinations is a shortcut to success. You will have put no effort to deserve any accolades you get. This is a high form of disrespect for teachers who have taught you.

They may have sacrificed a lot to make sure you learn and expect you to pass by doing exams fairly, which you did not.

Cheating is also a form of disrespect to students who have worked hard to achieve what they have got, but you surpass them by cheating.

Effect of Cheating on the Learning Process

Cheating affects the performance of a learner at all stages of education. Whether K-12, high school, college, or University, cheating deviates a learner from focusing on learning to focus on just passing the exam.

From a pedagogical point of view, the answer is achieved during the test and not during the learning process in class. The correct answer is not the only thing that should be learned in a topic.

Definitely, there are other items about the subject or topic that should be learned in class. The test is just a random question.

For instance, a topic on the Second World War may only ask for the year that it started and the year that the United States entered the war.

Therefore, if the student pulls the answer through cheating, he will only know those two aspects of the topic of the war. However, he will miss deeper lessons on topics like why the war started and why the US entered the war.

To me, this affects the learning for any student, from K-12 to college, and affects a learner’s academic achievement. Such a student will pass the grade but will definitely be half-baked.

Moreover, this is not learning because a cheating student acquires the answer through a desire to pass the grade and not a desire to know the content. The desire to know is one of the most important parts of the learning process, which is eliminated by cheating.

Examples of cheating in college

Cheating involves the dishonest taking or giving of any material or information that will be used to determine academic credit. Cheating involves the following activities.

cheating in class

1. Copying from fellow students

When you copy another student’s assignment or test, then you have cheated on that test and assignment. The work you present to the instructor is not yours.

When you also let other students copy from your work and assignments, you have contributed to cheating. This means that you will be accused of cheating, too.

2. When someone writes essays or papers for you.

When you let someone with more experience or knowledge about something do a paper for you, then you have cheated on that paper.

You do not deserve any credit you get from that paper because you did not do it. This method makes cheating in school appear good as students find it convenient to hire others to work for them.

3. Using textbooks, notes, and formula lists on exams

When you hide notebooks on formulas in exams that you are supposed to do without, it is regarded as cheating. You have means of obtaining answers when the answers are supposed to come from your brain. Open-book exams allow the use of textbooks, formula lists, and notes during the text.

4. Collaborating in tests or exams without permission

Students who help each other or discuss answers among themselves in exams that are supposed to be done alone are cheating on that test. The test is supposed to gauge the personal understanding of a student, which will not happen at all.

5. Copying from online Tutors

One of the modern ways of cheating in school is students copying answers from online tutors and homework sites. One of these examples include Chegg, homework markets, and Course Hero, among others. By doing this, copying Chegg is considered cheating, especially when you copy directly.

Solutions to cheating in school

1. Educating students on the importance of honesty

This should always be the starting point for every teacher to curb cheating in school. Students may have heard of honesty and integrity before, but teachers need to discuss them in detail and remind students.

They will at least think twice before cheating. At the same time, creating awareness and educating students about the wrongs of cheating in school helps them think twice and do the right thing.

2. Creating anti-cheating pledges

Creating pledges that will define class rules regarding academic honesty and cheating can curb cheating. The students should pledge themselves for it to be more meaningful. Students will always hold each other accountable for not breaking the pledge. The student should sign the pledge after completion and agree to uphold the rules included.

3. Instructors changing the definition of success

Instructors should do away with the notion that good students get good grades and bad students get bad grades. Students who get low grades will always look for a means to get good grades and be considered good students.

Instructors should always praise effort and progress and not necessarily good grades. Praising the efforts of students shows that you care about the work ethic of your students.


Every student should recognize the consequences and effects of cheating in college. Some are very severe, and it is not worthy for any student to risk it. Some can affect your future life.

These effects should sound a warning to anyone who wishes to be involved in cheating. This should also sound like a warning to peers. This is because peers influence academic cheating, and this can lead to a spiral effect.

No student goes to school to cheat in examinations. Therefore, students should always strive to be honest in their academic work. This is for their benefit. To avoid cheating, read our essay hacks and learn the tips and tricks to use to earn your grades legally.