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How Will Academic Dishonesty Suspension Affect My Chances?

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How Will Academic Dishonesty Suspension Affect My Chances? [#permalink] New post 13 Nov 2005, 21:53
During the sophomore year of my undergrad, I was caught for academic dishonesty. As part of the punishment, I was given an F of x (x denotes "for academic dishonesty") for the class in which I cheated and suspended for a semester. I was eventually allowed to remove the x from the transcript with a written request to the registrar. However, due to the suspension I was forced to withdraw from about 5 classes, for each of which I received a "W" on the transcript. In all honesty, I took the suspension pretty hard and viewed it as a wake up call. I started working harder than ever before. My grades after the suspension were some of the best on my transcript. Although my overall GPA was 3.3, my GPA for the last two years (post-suspension) came out to roughly 3.7-3.8

Apart from this stain on my transcript, I have an otherwise excellent profile. I have a GMAT score of 740, 6 years of professional consulting experience, and above average community involvement. Furthermore, I believe that I can get good letters of recommendation.

My questions:

1. Can someone comment on how this suspension will affect my chances?

2. How should I address this on my app?
Do you think that the best approach is to volunteer this information about my suspension in the app/interview? I don't think there is anyway to prove that the "W"s are due to the suspension, so it is possible that the admissions committee may not even notice.
On the one hand, I have the option of being forthcoming. Volunteering this information may allow me to write a compelling story around it. I can show how I was able to put this behind me and let it positively affected me and my work ethic. It is also possible that the admissions committee may never find this out at all without me volunteering this information. In such a situation, this approach would prove to be self-destructive.
My other option is to wait and see if the admissions committee confronts me about it. Doing so may either mean that the admissions committee never even suspects this and ignores the issue altogether or that the committee does catch it and confronts me about it. The latter would almost certainly be perceived as an attempt to hide the truth. Consequently, they may not even consider me for an interview let alone an admittance.

I'd appreciate some feedback. Thanks!
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Re: How Will Academic Dishonesty Suspension Affect My Chance [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2005, 17:55
Expert's post
Shahenshah wrote:
During the sophomore year of my undergrad, I was caught for academic dishonesty. As part of the punishment, I was given an F of x (x denotes "for academic dishonesty") for the class in which I cheated and suspended for a semester. I was eventually allowed to remove the x from the transcript with a written request to the registrar. However, due to the suspension I was forced to withdraw from about 5 classes, for each of which I received a "W" on the transcript. In all honesty, I took the suspension pretty hard and viewed it as a wake up call. I started working harder than ever before. My grades after the suspension were some of the best on my transcript. Although my overall GPA was 3.3, my GPA for the last two years (post-suspension) came out to roughly 3.7-3.8

Apart from this stain on my transcript, I have an otherwise excellent profile. I have a GMAT score of 740, 6 years of professional consulting experience, and above average community involvement. Furthermore, I believe that I can get good letters of recommendation.

My questions:

1. Can someone comment on how this suspension will affect my chances?


2. How should I address this on my app?
Do you think that the best approach is to volunteer this information about my suspension in the app/interview? I don't think there is anyway to prove that the "W"s are due to the suspension, so it is possible that the admissions committee may not even notice.
On the one hand, I have the option of being forthcoming. Volunteering this information may allow me to write a compelling story around it. I can show how I was able to put this behind me and let it positively affected me and my work ethic. It is also possible that the admissions committee may never find this out at all without me volunteering this information. In such a situation, this approach would prove to be self-destructive.
My other option is to wait and see if the admissions committee confronts me about it. Doing so may either mean that the admissions committee never even suspects this and ignores the issue altogether or that the committee does catch it and confronts me about it. The latter would almost certainly be perceived as an attempt to hide the truth. Consequently, they may not even consider me for an interview let alone an admittance.

I'd appreciate some feedback. Thanks!


You have to address it and discuss its impact on you. I don't believe it would be an automatic ding since it was a long time ago you seem to have gotten the message. You made a mistake. You paid a signficant price for it. And you appear to have learned from the error and moved on. Plus it was about 8 years ago. don't spend your whole app dwelling on the experience, but do address it forthrightly and focus more on the impact (off your transcript.)

They will notice 5 withrawals and an F on your transcript and want to know why you had them for that semester. You need to address it either in an optional essay or in some other question (failure, growth experience, or? )

You should be able to write a strong essay about this experience, and that's what I think you should do. That's better then leaving them wondering. Remember, many interviews are blind (the interviewer does not review your app before the interview) so they couldn't easily ask you about that semester.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2005, 12:54
During my suspension, I worked in a co-op like opportunity. How believable do you think it is to say that I withdrew that semester to work or to take care of some family emergency? I understand the ethical implications, but I want to get your opinion on this if I decide to offer a different explanation. Keep in mind that there is an F on my transcript and the following semester results in multiple "W"s. Other than that there is no indication of the suspension nor a record at my university. I wonder if these two indicators are sufficient to suspect academic dishonesty.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2005, 14:51
followup questions...

I have a GMAT score of 740, 6 years of professional consulting experience, and above average community involvement. I also have entrepreneurial experience in the field of entertainment. I'm a male and a U.S. citizen fluent in 3 different languages. Please let me know if you need more info.

Questions:

1. Do I have a shot at top programs? I would like to apply to at least five of the top five programs even if I have an average chance of getting in. Otherwise, I will focus my efforts on a Top 25 proram. What is your suggestion? I am willing to wait till 2007 if I have to try again to get into a top 10 program.

2. I plan to concentrate in entrepreneurship. What are the options for an MBA graduate with a concentration in entrepreneurship, if they decide to pursue non-entrepreneurial opportunities upon graduation?

Thank you! :) :)
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2005, 08:32
Expert's post
Shahenshah wrote:
During my suspension, I worked in a co-op like opportunity. How believable do you think it is to say that I withdrew that semester to work or to take care of some family emergency? I understand the ethical implications, but I want to get your opinion on this if I decide to offer a different explanation. Keep in mind that there is an F on my transcript and the following semester results in multiple "W"s. Other than that there is no indication of the suspension nor a record at my university. I wonder if these two indicators are sufficient to suspect academic dishonesty.


That sounds much weaker to me than the truth.
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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MBA Admissions Consulting
User avatar
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
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Location: Los Angeles CA
Followers: 36

Kudos [?]: 305 [0], given: 59

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 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2005, 08:37
Expert's post
Shahenshah wrote:
followup questions...

I have a GMAT score of 740, 6 years of professional consulting experience, and above average community involvement. I also have entrepreneurial experience in the field of entertainment. I'm a male and a U.S. citizen fluent in 3 different languages. Please let me know if you need more info.

Questions:

1. Do I have a shot at top programs? I would like to apply to at least five of the top five programs even if I have an average chance of getting in. Otherwise, I will focus my efforts on a Top 25 proram. What is your suggestion? I am willing to wait till 2007 if I have to try again to get into a top 10 program.

2. I plan to concentrate in entrepreneurship. What are the options for an MBA graduate with a concentration in entrepreneurship, if they decide to pursue non-entrepreneurial opportunities upon graduation?

Thank you! :) :)


To answer your questions:

1) Yes you have a shot at the top programs. They understand that people sometimes make mistakes. I don't see any point in waiting if you think you are ready now.

2) I'm not sure of the answer to your question. There certainly are many firms that value "entrepreneurship." The key will be, when the time comes, to show the value of your education and preparation to the firm.

Good luck!
_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

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