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So that's how to get into Harvard: Cheat

National Security AgencyUniversity of Kansas University of Nebraska-Lincoln

OK, all together now: No wonder we didn’t get into Harvard. We weren’t cheaters.

Turns out that that “C” isn’t just for “Crimson.”

As The Times’ Matt Pearce wrote Thursday: “According to an email survey of more than 1,300 incoming Harvard students, the Harvard Crimson reports, 10% of the campus' new freshman class have cheated on tests and 42% have cheated on homework.”

Which means two things: A) These folks are short on ethics, and (b) they’re too stupid and/or smug to even lie on a survey about it for the school newspaper.

Can’t wait for one of them to become president.

It also means, I guess, that some of these freshfolk are going to find it uh, well, challenging to live up to Harvard's policy on academic dishonesty, which states: “All work submitted for credit is expected to be the student’s own work” and “Plagiarism or falsification of research results will ordinarily result in a requirement to withdraw or expulsion.”

Although note the words “expected to be” and “ordinarily result in” in those sentences. Surely a person savvy enough to get into Harvard -- cheater or not -- could drive a (Mercedes, please) truck through those loopholes.

Still, you may wonder why this matters to you, oh Harvard of the Midwest grad (Drake, University of Nebraska, University of Kansas -- take your pick; practically every school in America’s Great Flat Parts lays claim to that moniker). Well, ponder this little tidbit from the story: “80% of the incoming class expected to get jobs in the finance industry.”

Oh.

Or, as the young people like to say: OMG.

Better lock up your 401(k)s while you can, fellow Americans. In four years or so, the Unethical Men and Women of Cambridge are coming for your assets. And don’t expect them to put your life savings ahead of their right to an Upper West Side penthouse, a BMW and summers in the Hamptons.

Of course, there may be a Catch-22 at work: Because so many of them cheated their way into Harvard, who are they going to cheat off of once they’re there? Yea, bet you didn't think of that, huh, Beanie Boy?

Perhaps, though, we can just fall back on the old saying “Cheaters never prosper.”

Except that, assuming that cheating helped you get into Harvard, that isn't so veritas.

Or, as the young people also like to say: LOL.

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Follow Paul Whitefield on Twitter @PaulWhitefield1 and Google +

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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