Student won scholarship with fake documents, AI-written essay

July 8, 2024
2,315 Views

A Lehigh University student with a full scholarship pleaded guilty to a forgery change and was expelled after admitting online that he faked admissions documents and used ChatGPT to write his essay.

Aryan Anand, 19, was expelled from the private Pennsylvania university this spring after falsifying documents, including his father’s death certificate, tax documents and an email address to impersonate a school principal, according to a report from the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office obtained by Inside Higher Ed.

“Lehigh University revoked his status as a student and his admission was rescinded,” a university spokesperson said in a statement to Inside Higher Ed. “A thorough investigation by Lehigh University police revealed significant fraudulent materials submitted for admission, leading to charges.” 

Anand was admitted to Lehigh in August 2023 and shortly after created a post on the social media site Reddit titled “I have built my career and life on lies.” In the post, he detailed his fabrications of multiple documents to gain a full-ride scholarship to the university. 

A Reddit user sent the post to the Lehigh University Police Department, which conducted an investigation and found the claims were true. 

Anand was arrested in April and faced multiple charges that could have resulted in more than 30 years in prison. Last month, he pleaded guilty to one count of forgery. Lehigh officials decided to not seek restitution, which totaled roughly $85,000, on the condition he return to his home in India. 

Anand admitted to using ChatGPT to write his admissions essay, according to The Hindustan Times. He applied to several universities and got rejected from Ivy League institutions but was successful with Lehigh University.



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