WASHINGTON – Today, the American Consumer Institute (ACI), as a part of its recently launched initiative, The Academic Integrity Project, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra highlighting the epidemic of cheating taking place on college campuses, and urging the agencies to act on behalf of consumers to end this academic dishonesty.
The rise in online cheating coincides with the rise of Chegg, Socratic, Edubirdie and other companies that market themselves as study aids but, by many accounts, operate as de facto cheating platforms. College professors and administrators across the country have admonished students for using Chegg and other services to obtain the answers to test and quiz questions in real time. This is a threat to the quality of American higher education, and thus to our economy and national security as a whole.
In the letter to Secretary Cardona and CFPB Director Chopra, ACI President Steve Pociask wrote:
Chegg is the largest and most well-funded of this type of program, but it is not the only one. A Google-led mobile app named Socratic provides students quick answers to their questions, and even has a photo-based search where a student can take a photo of their homework or test problem and get the answer and work needed to get there right away. Another platform, Edubirdie, does not even try to hide what it is, and blatantly says on the website “We’ll do your homework while you live your life,” offering ghostwriting, essay creation and plagiarism checking for student essays.
These platforms are shameless in their exploitation of vulnerable students, and it has to be stopped. Honest students are being tempted to cheat to keep up with their peers, and those who do cheat are able to get away with it without repercussions.
To view the entire letter, click here.
The American Consumer Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational and research institute. The Institute focuses on economic policy issues that affect society as a whole, and we seek to be a better and more reasoned voice for consumers by using economic tools and principles to find public policies that work best for consumers. Learn more at www.theamericanconsumer.org.