If you’re applying to colleges right now and think that you’re going to get by with turning in someone else’s essay you could be dead wrong. Turnitin is a software program that over 100 colleges and universities across the country are using to curb plagiarism.
Turnitin has been around since the 1990’s however two years ago they developed a version of the software specifically for admissions essays. Before that it was used at the high school and college level to curb plagiarism in essays written by students about a myraid of topics. Long gone are the days you could go to the frat house file cabinet and slap your name on an essay that’s been turned in five times.
UCLA’s graduate program is one of the institutions that has implemented the software on the admissions level. According to school officials they found a dozen plagiarized admissions essays among the 870 submitted. It seems that copying admissions essays isn’t that big a problem with that percentage. Penn State’s Smeal School of business is also using the software and reported just 3 to 5% of their admissions essays were copied.
The prospective students who turn in plagiarized essays are of course not admitted to the school. It’s unclear whether or not they are told why.