Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Change A Grade, Go To Jail

More accurately, if you hack into a university's computer system and change grades to make people eligible for federal financial aid, you might be guilty of unauthorized computer access and fraud.

How do we know this? Because some who tried to do it have been so charged.

According to the indictment, the conspirators caused the grades of approximately 90 FAMU students to be changed, effecting changes in approximately 650 grades overall. The grade change increased the grade point averages of the majority of students whose grades were changed, which in turn, made these students eligible for financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans to which these students would not otherwise have been entitled. Approximately 114 of the grade changes at issue were failing “F” grades that were changed to “A” grades, which had the effect of awarding students thousands of dollars worth of credit hours to which they were not entitled. The indictment also alleges that the conspirators caused the residency status of certain students to be changed from out-of-state to in-state, thus reducing the amount of tuition owed to the university by thousands of dollars.

Not a smart move.


neko said...

Stupid kids. Don't they know hacking into computers is only allowable if the target is a Republican canidate or an average citizen who just dared to ask the Chosen One a simple question.

Ellen K said...

This isn't new. During Vietnam, professors gave higher grades to men who might lose their draft deferment. It doesn't surprise me that someone could hack into these internet crackerboxes. UT has had three hacking situations in the past two years. Both employees and former students had privileged information compromised. Why they use SSN for every single ID is beyond me. But more than this, I betcha that if we looked closely at the residency status for some students, we would find that there are bunches of them getting in-state tuition for no cause or even getting scholarships and student aid for no cause. When my daughter worked as an RA,there was a group of kids who got scholarships due to economic hardship. Some of those kids seldom attended classes and frequently indulged in criminal behavior in the dorms. But whenever an RA tried to lodge a formal complaint, the university's stance was to ignore the issue due to who they were and where they came from. Nobody wants to open that can of worms.