College students using fake IDs is definitely nothing new, but students using computer programs to make fake college applications is something a little less familiar. This seemingly simple offence can leave offenders with a lofty fine and or even jail time.
Kevin MacLennan, director of admissions at CU, said students and transfers using computer programs like Microsoft Word to make fake transcripts is no rumor.
CU receives applications and transcripts from all across the United States, but MacLennan said he and his team can pick a fake out of the bunch.
“We can tell when transcripts don’t have appropriate seals or envelopes,” MacLennan said.
Once a fraudulent transcript has been identified, the admissions office is required to file a police report with the CUPD. Students who turn in fraudulent applications will be denied admissions to CU and its sister campuses every time they apply.
“If we find a case of fraud, we withdraw the application from any further consideration,” MacLennan said.
The offence is so serious that it has its own stature enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado.
Stature 18-5-104.5 describes a fraudulent transcript as an altered “transcript, diploma, grade report or similar document of an institution of secondary or higher education.”
If being denied entrance isn’t bad enough, students may also face a class one misdemeanor.
Brad Wiesley, commander at CUPD, said the penalties for use of a forged academic record can leave fraudulent applicants with a lofty fine and even months in the slammer.
“Penalties for a class one misdemeanor can include a minimum sentence of six months in a county jail and/or $500 fine, and up to 18 months in a county jail and/or $5000,” Wiesley said.
MacLennan said the admissions office at CU deals with at least five fraudulent transcripts each school year.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Vanna Livaditis at firstname.lastname@example.org.