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I got a notation of academic dishonesty on my BSc’s transcript after I received the conditional offer from a top graduate school. I submitted the application very early before the notation was added to my transcript. Now I received a conditional offer from the school. They’ll give me the official offer after I get the final transcript and degree certification, which is in June. Will the school withdraw my offer because of this notation? Do I still have a chance to get matriculated after I send the official transcript?

Should I inform the school in advance about this notation on the transcript? Or I should wait until they check my transcript? I’m not sure if the admission team will look very carefully at my transcript. (Since they have no requirements on my cumulative GPA.) I am worried that if I tell them right now, my offer will be withdrawn. Since the top school has lots of competitive students on the waiting list, they’ll probably reject me. Maybe I should wait until later in May, maybe there are some extra positions left, and although there’s a notation on my transcript, I’ll probably have a chance. But I also worry if I wait until they find out, I’ll be regarded as not honest and transparent to them.

I don’t know how should I do currently. Since the incident happen, I lived under regret and self-accusation every day. I’ve really learned from this and I’ll never let this happen in my future study. Now the offer from my dream school is just in front of me. But I may be going to lose it. Does anyone know what is the right thing I should do currently? I am very hesitant to send the school an email to tell them in advance.

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    Can you please clarify what the notation will mean for your BSc degree?
    – quantacad
    Commented Apr 9, 2023 at 9:09
  • It is disastrous for me to have notation due to academic dishonesty in my BSc degree, it occurs because I have some similarities in some questions with another student in a take-home exam.
    – Betty
    Commented Apr 9, 2023 at 15:55
  • I assume that the disciplinary action for the dishonesty was already carried out in the past by your BSc university. I don't seem to understand why they would want to add a notation in the transcript. Is it possible to meet with the top people (registrar, chancellor or dean, whoever) of your Bsc University and try to explain - why you truly regret the act and how this hampers your future, how you already bore the consequences, etc, etc and if they can issue a new transcript without the notation.
    – Neb Uzer
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 1:37
  • The whole incident happened after I submitted the graduate school application. It’s a course I took in the last semester. I tried to submit an appeal but was unsuccessful. Since the evidence was clear, it was totally my fault, I shouldn’t talk with another student even if it was a take-home exam. My school didn’t give me any chance. I am trying to contact the dean's office (I wrote an email last week but haven’t got any reply yet.) I think there is very little probability of removing the notation.
    – Betty
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 3:07

2 Answers 2

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Most importantly, please do not (once again, DO NOT) live "under regret and self-accusation every day". This will not change things, but may be damaging to your psychological and perhaps even physical condition. No matter how important your academic attainments are to you, please rest assured that your health is infinitely more important. Set your priorities right.

Regarding your notation. I am not in a position to advise, but I wish to ask this question: what does it exactly mean to inform the graduate school about the notation? Won't you be informing them of it by simply submitting your transcript? Won't that, by itself, be a disclosure of the existence of that notation? You are not going to hide anything. If they look attentively through the transcript, they will find the notation. If they do not find the notation -- then good for you. One way or another, no one will be able to accuse you in hiding something.

Or is there any special regulation at that school, requiring you explicitly to inform them by a separate letter about any major development? I doubt this.

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  • Inform the graduate school means I will tell them in advance before sending the final transcript. Since I have not yet finished all the courses, I need to wait until May to get the final transcript. I am unsure if it is better to inform them now or wait for them to review the transcript.
    – Betty
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 2:51
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    The only requirement that the school gives me is to submit the final transcript and degree certification before July. I asked an advisor (not a professional), and he suggested I do not inform them in advance, wait to send them the final transcript, and if the school has doubts about this notation, they will probably let me write an explanation separately.
    – Betty
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 3:19
  • @Betty I would be acting strictly by the rules. If the rules require you just to send them your transcript -- then so you do. No additional moves that are not explicitly required. Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 3:40
  • I think the dilemma is that when Betty sends her transcript, they'll see the notation and could potentially revoke her admission, at which point it will be too late to make other plans. Whereas if she discloses this incident proactively and gets an answer now, she'll have more time to make other arrangements if necessary. And the odds that they do revoke her acceptance may be different in the two cases, though this will likely be impossible to predict.
    – cag51
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 19:08
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It seems by what you have written that you looked to what is required by the application standards in terms of what you need to divulge. As many have pointed out, you are not hiding anything, though that could be considered a technicality . In an adversarial setting such as a court of law, this fine line might be just the thing to win a case.

Is that on an ethical level enough? What does honest mean at this school? Have you looked to academic dishonesty policy for students at this university? Could these rules inform you of the level of honesty expected at this particular university?

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