We live in a country of opportunity, and scholarships are many people’s golden ticket to university.
However, even with financial aid to cover college tuition and fees, there are still more challenges that come with college life, like working to cover other expenses, or juggling busy calendars of academic and non-academic responsibilities.
You may be worried that a simple mistake, or even a false accusation, can put your entire future on the line. In situations like this, many people feel betrayed by the university they trusted to pave the way for that future.
Luckily, you don’t have to handle these situations alone. Our team at D.C. Student Defense is here to help, starting with basic information about how academic violations could affect your scholarships, as well as your financial aid. Keep reading to hear from Washington D.C.-based student defense lawyer Shanlon Wu and his team.
What Is Academic Misconduct at My University?
Since it is an umbrella term, it makes sense if academic misconduct sounds like a vague concept. There are actually a variety of infractions or actions that your university might consider academic misconduct.
Each university has its own Code of Conduct or Academic Honesty Policy. It is important to regularly review yours to avoid any missteps or tricky policies you wouldn’t expect.
Common Types of Academic Violations
However, while each university has its unique policies, there are many common expectations of students across D.C., and even the country.
Some common types of academic violations include:
- Cheating: Outright fraud, dishonesty or deceit in academic endeavors. This may even include using improper materials or helping others with the use of prohibited materials, and it can be done in-person or online.
- Plagiarizing: Use of any type of intellectual material created by another individual without acknowledging the source. This may even include some paraphrasing.
- Theft and/or Damage of Intellectual Property: Stealing or sabotaging others notes, books, academic papers, assignments and other academic materials. This includes digital or online materials and data.
- Tampering: Altering, interfering with, or even attempting to alter one’s academic records, assignments, lab experiments, or any other type of document or project related to school.
What Are the Consequences for Academic Violations?
As mentioned before, each university has a unique Code of Conduct, so be sure to review your university’s policy so you know what consequences you can expect for academic violations.
However, there are also some commonalities for the consequences of academic violations and academic misconduct.
Some consequences of academic misconduct may include:
- Verbal reprimand
- Written reprimand
- Failing grade (for the class or assignment)
- Dismissal from the course
- Academic, disciplinary, or athletic probation
- Loss of privileges (sports, clubs, etc.)
- Loss of scholarships
- And more
Each university will have its own approach to academic violations, but these are some consequences students frequently face after an academic misconduct violation.
Academic Violations and Scholarships
Unfortunately, your scholarships and financial aid can absolutely be affected by academic violations. Some scholarship policies and information will outline means to revoke scholarships, or parts of scholarships, if academic honesty is not followed.
It’s also important to note that scholarships may not be offered by the university, but they might still have their own academic honesty policies. So in addition to your university’s Code of Conduct, you should read the policies of the body that offers you your scholarship.
What Should I Do After Being Accused of an Academic Violation?
You may feel frightened or betrayed if you are accused of academic misconduct, but there is still hope for your future.
We recommend you follow these five tips if you are accused of academic dishonesty:
- Do not respond to charges without consulting a lawyer: You need trusted legal advice before you make statements or provide information that can be held against you.
- Hire a student defense lawyer: A student defense lawyer has experience defending college students like you.
- Examine your school’s Code of Conduct: It’s important to review this document, so you can use it to your advantage in your case.
- Document the alleged incident of academic dishonesty: Keep track of all important evidence regarding the accusations against you.
- Keep the case to yourself: Do not discuss your case with professors, classmates, or close friends, and do not discuss your case on social media.
Contact a D.C. Student Defense Lawyer Today
You don’t have to face an academic misconduct accusation on your own. An experienced student defense lawyer has the skills and the know-how to protect your future, whether you have been falsely accused or made a one-time mistake.
Shanlon Wu of D.C. Student Defense has a decade of experience as a federal prosecutor, and will fight for your rights with his experience specifically in the field of student defense. Contact D.C. Student Defense today to set up your initial consultation.
These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.