Following a large-scale cheating scandal, approximately 70 undergraduate students were forced to withdraw temporarily from Harvard University last Friday, the Harvard Crimson reported. Roughly 125 students were implicated in the scandal, which involved cheating on a take-home exam in government professor Matthew Platt’s “Introduction to Congress” course last spring. Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Smith said in a campus email that approximately half of the implicated students were asked to withdraw, but did not specify the exact number. Half of the remaining cases resulted in disciplinary probation and the other half resulted in no disciplinary action. Because the investigations spanned over a prolonged period of time, students asked to withdraw will be charged tuition as if they withdrew on Sept. 30 of last year. Critics of the investigation have questioned the structure of the course, since some students claim it had an ambiguous collaboration policy.
Princeton University will expand gender-neutral housing into the university’s residential college system next school year, The Daily Princetonian reported on Monday. This change will give rising sophomores, juniors and seniors the option of living with any roommate, regardless of gender, adding to existing gender-neutral housing options in upper class dormitories. The new development stems from growing student interest in gender-neutral housing options. Princeton expects the new changes to be successful, based on previous implementation of the gender-neutral housing options in other dormitories, according to The Daily Princetonian.
The Common Application will introduce five new essay prompts and increase the word limit for essays to 650 from 500 words starting this summer, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The popular “topic of your choice” prompt, which has been criticized by some college counselors as too broad, will be removed and replaced with new ones designed to help students focus their responses. The online-only Common App previously gave students the option to attach their essays as separate documents, allowing them to exceed the word limit. Updates to the Common App website enforce the new limit by requiring students to upload the essay in a text window rather than an external document. The Common Application board established the new word count limit after analyzing the word counts of “especially effective” essays, The Chronicle reported.