Admissions

Will 8th-Grade Cheating Affect College Verdicts?

Question: I was accused of cheating when I was in 8th grade.  Will this affect my chance of getting into the college that I really want to attend?

What happens in 8th grade stays in 8th grade. You are not expected to report to colleges any misdeeds that occurred before you started high school, and your school officials will not report them either.


Juveniles not yet in high school who are convicted of a serious crime in a court of law may have to disclose this on applications, depending on the circumstances. But even a felony should not keep an otherwise worthy candidate of any age out of college, although it might have an impact on some decisions and … depending on the timing … possibly on financial aid eligibility. But the garden-variety teen offender like you, whose transgression occurred in school and before 9th grade, receives a “Get Out of Jail Free” card when it comes to college admission.

Thus you can consider your cheating episode a part of your past that will not haunt you in your future. But I do hope you learned from this mistake. Any sort of academic dishonesty committed in high school can definitely affect your college outcomes and, should such an incident occur once you get to college, it will most likely lead to expulsion.