What is the price of a college degree? For some of us, it is some $20,000 a year and up that we have saved over the years for tuition. For others it is spending our summer days working to pay for housing and food. Some of us dedicated ourselves to countless hours of studying to get an academic scholarship, and few of us spent countless hours at practice to earn an athletic scholarship. For some of us, however, a college degree may come with the price of one's integrity.
"Academic integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do". (Don Galer) We have all been tempted to "check the answers" of our friend's homework, or "just take a quick peek" at the kid's test on the desk next to you. Unfortunately, some of us fail to realize that high school is over. Academic dishonesty at the college level is grounds to fail a course, or even worse, you might receive an "XE" grade. This grade appears on your official transcript and prevents you from participating in extra-curricular activities and is only removable by petition to the dean. A grade of "XE" is a major red flag to any prospective employers once you get your degree, making it more difficult to get a good job.
Types of academic integrity range from the old school tricks such as writing the answers to a test on your hand or your pencil, to taking a test for someone else or doing their homework. One of the forms of academic integrity that gains more gravity as we continue our education is giving credit when you cite sources, something that wasn't nearly as important in high school.Furthermore, cheating in any form is completely unfair to those who paid their dues, so to speak. If someone were to cheat, they would really be slighting themselves too. They don't learn the material, and once you’re in the real world, you are expected to apply that material in your career.
In conclusion, getting good grades is important to us all, but it shouldn't come with the price of our integrity. It is better for everyone to fight the urge to cheat, even though it may seem like an easy way out. Thomas Jefferson has captured the essence of academic integrity at ASU, "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."