ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The recent college admissions scandal proves cheating is big business. Now, schools are cracking down and watching students’ work closer than ever before.
The headlines splashed across the country. The college cheating scandal had everything: celebrities, money, bribes. But it’s not just a problem facing the rich and famous.
“The problem is much worse because it's so easy,” said Ted Gournelos, who teaches communications at Rollins College.
We asked him to look at a paper that we purchased online.
“Oh man. This is a grad student, maybe a faculty member. Oh my God, yeah.”
It was written in just two days. The price tag was $120.
“It's written well enough that it might be even something that could be submitted for publication,” said Gournelos, but he added, “this might be plagiarized.”
The cheating scandal is heightening awareness at colleges nationwide.
“I think the temptations are there more for the students so what we try to do is be proactive,” said Rollins Honor Council supervisor Gabriel Barreneche.
Barreneche says the council investigates between 40 and 60 cases of cheating each year, and 80 percent to 90 percent of them are legitimate.
“It’s human nature, right? Someone's trying to monetize a need, and students in desperation will look for the shortcut.”
The school, like many others, asks students to commit to an academic code. They also use a website called “Turn It In,” where they scan suspicious papers for plagiarism.
“And then I'll go and use 'Turn It In' which will actually analyze line by line.”
It compares it to other web sites, papers and publications across the Internet. It puts up a red if it’s word-for-word the same as what’s on another site.
“Many faculty have it done immediately so when they turn it in, it just scans it.”
That’s something Ted Gournelos said he would definitely do with our paper, because it’s simply too good.
“This isn't just a red flag, this is a giant red neon sign saying this is plagiarized.”
Gournelos said the recent cheating scandal should rattle everyone.
“It's a wake-up call about education. Maybe we're just not teaching students right.”
A lesson for students and parents that some is watching your every move and every word.
“Parents, you should have those heart-to-hearts with your students about what it means to be a person of integrity, a person of honesty.”