Saturday, June 6, 2020

Chinese Cheating Rampant in U.S. College Applications, and in Classrooms

Fake transcripts and essays, falsified letters of recommendation and test scores, paid consultants, and fake passports and IDs. These are just some of the many methods that Chinese nationals have reportedly used to gain acceptance into U.S. colleges and universities.
What once might have been a few isolated incidents has now turned into a vast, international money-making industry.
Hiu Kit David Chong, an admissions official at the University of Southern California (USC), pleaded guilty in April to wire fraud in and helping Chinese students defraud their college applications. According to the Department of Justice, Chong admitted to making $40,000 from clients over the years by providing “false college transcripts with inflated grades,” “fraudulent personal statements,” and “phony letters of recommendation” for the applications of his Chinese clients.
He also offered to provide surrogate test takers for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam for international students.
Chong was not the only person offering such services. In fact, according to a 2012 report by Time Magazine, a “huge industry of education agents” has emerged to appeal to the increasing number of Chinese nationals who want to study abroad at U.S. universities.
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.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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