Yale boots out student who forged his grades

May 5, 1995

Another case of a student lying to gain admission to an Ivy League College - this time a student who fabricated his scores to get into Yale - is causing further soul-searching in colleges and universities around America, Lucy Hodges writes.

The case of Lon Grammer, 25, who forged his papers to give himself an A-plus average and manufactured letters of recommendation, appears to be a simpler example of fraud than that of the girl from South Carolina who concealed the fact that she had murdered her mother. But Mr Grammer himself is pleading not guilty to fraud.

Weeks before he was due to graduate, Yale expelled Mr Grammer for fabricating his achievements when he applied to transfer to that university from a California community college. He has since been charged with taking more than $60,000 in college loans and scholarships under false pretenses. If found guilty, he could be sent to prison for up to 20 years.

Administrators from other US colleges and universities agree that the university had little choice but to expel Mr Grammer when the facts came to light.

But Mr Grammer maintains that he earned his place at Yale during the past two years by doing the work that was set and achieving a B-minus/C-plus grade average. In an interview with the New York Times, he said he thought he belonged at Yale.

"I can compete academically," he said. "I contributed. I wasn't one of those kids who buried his head in his books."

Mr Grammer certainly appears to have been well-liked. A fraternity member and rugby player, he had to work hard to keep up. Yale was more difficult than Cuesta community college, he said.

As well as the fraud charge at Yale, the former student faces a separate charge in New Hampshire, where he has been accused of using a false driving license to lease a car under another person's name. It was a tip from investigators in New Hampshire that eventually led officials at Yale to look into Mr Grammer's background.

They apparently found that he had been a student with C grades at the California community college, not the A-plus student he had claimed.

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