5 Notable College Cheating Scandals Besides the One Involving Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman

While the college cheating scandal code named “Varsity Blues” involving actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, is one of the biggest college cheating scandals ever, it’s not the first time cheating has happened at a university. Keep reading to learn about five other cheating scandals at U.S. universities.

1. 2012 Harvard cheating scandal involved 125 students

In 2012, 125 students were caught cheating in what the Harvard University described as “the most wide-spread cheating scandal” ever to occur in the university’s history.

In May 2012, students received a take-home final exam in a government class. After the exams were turned in, authorities discovered that “nearly half” of the 279 students in the class were suspected of cheating on the exam.

Student taking exam
Student taking exam. | FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images

In 2013, after being dealt with by the Harvard Administrative Board, a total of 70 students were forced out, according to The New York Times. For comparison, in an average year at Harvard, only 17 students are forced out because of academic dishonesty.

2. 1992 Naval Academy cheating ring involved 134 students

134 members of the Naval Academy’s Class of 1994 were implicated in a cheating scandal in 1992, according to The Baltimore Sun. A student somehow got an early copy of an electrical engineering exam and sold it for $50 a copy to 134 students.

Students then reportedly memorized the answers to the exam or took a copy of the answers in with them while taking the exam. Of the 106 cases that were reviewed by a disciplinary panel, 81 admitted to cheating. Punishments ranged from expulsion to lesser punishments.

3. Half of class caught cheating at Indiana University School of Dentistry

In 2007, half of the second-year class at the Indiana University School of Dentistry allegedly used information other students obtained through hacking, to pass an exam.

Indiana University campus
Sample Gates on the campus of Indiana University | Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Students received a password-protected file that they were instructed not to open until exam day when they would receive the password, according to a local news station.

A couple of students started guessing the password before exam day and were able to access the file which contained pictures they would have to identify as part of the exam.

“A few of them stumbled onto the right ones [passwords]; they opened the files and then they shared that with some of their classmates,” Lawrence Goldblatt, Dean of Indiana University’s School Of Dentistry told the local news outlet.

Nine students were expelled and six were suspended. Another 21 were reprimanded. Students who were expelled appealed their cases and all of the expulsions were overturned.

4. ‘Sex for grades’ at Diablo Valley College in 2007

At Diablo Valley College, a school in California’s San Francisco Bay area, it was discovered that students were paying school employees to have change their grades in 2007. Students were paying employees $600 per grade change and in some cases, students were exchanging “sex for grades.”

students in classroom
Students sitting in a lecture hall | Ute Grabowsky/Photothek via Getty Images

After an investigation, it was discovered that the practice had been going on since 2000, according to the East Bay Times.

5. Tutor admitted to writing hundreds of papers for basketball players

A scandal erupted at the University of Minnesota in 1999 after Clem Haskins, an academic advisor and secretary, admitted to writing upwards of 400 papers for at least 18 student athletes, according to The New York Times.

At the time, some of the players were still on the basketball team. Later, two more tutors confessed to being involved in the scandal. As a result of Haskins’ confession, four players were suspended from the basketball team and the National Collegiate Athletic Association placed the team on probation for four years.