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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Fraudulent student applications flood Admissions and Records office

Staff overwhelmed with bots, fake students and AI
Staff+work+at+the+Admissions+and+Records+desk+on+June+20.
Ingrid Lu
Staff work at the Admissions and Records desk on June 20.

De Anza’s admissions and records office has been receiving a large influx of fraudulent student applications, slowing down the admissions process. As a result, students may have to manually clear holds on their applications as staff manage the ongoing issue.

This spring, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District received roughly 26,000 applications. 10,000 of these applications have been put on hold prior to the start of the spring quarter. Each of these applications had to be manually reviewed by staff, who scheduled Zoom meetings with each student to verify their two forms of identification.

“It’s not a long process, but the volume is high,” said Kim Te, Admissions and Records supervisor.

The California community college application portal, CCCApply, automatically flags suspicious accounts, but the ones that pass through the system still need to be reviewed by staff.

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“Most of these students are here to collect financial aid,” said Te. “When these fraudulent students take up the spaces (in classes), legitimate students cannot get in because they’re already full.”

The financial aid office has also noticed the impact that fraudulent applications are having within the department.

“It’s had an impact on staff time,” said Lisa Mandy, director of financial aid at De Anza. “The office works closely with (admissions and records) to ensure that fraudulent applications are identified, for the good of the many thousands of actual De Anza students and to safeguard federal dollars.”

AI students, which are a direct result of fraudulent students mistakenly being cleared, have been a rising issue.

“Instructors have been giving assignments to see if they are being generated by bots or AI,” said Te. “Is it AI, or is it by a legitimate student with human input?”

Admissions and Records staff are working in conjunction with the FHDA Educational Technology Services to develop a system that flags fraudulent applications more efficiently.

The new Free Application for Federal Student Aid requirements for the 2024-2025 school year may potentially reduce the number of fraudulent applications passing through. All users will need a Federal Student AID ID, including parents or guardians providing their tax information.

De Anza students are concerned about the record level of fraudulent applications.

“I think that’s a serious matter,” said Phway Phway Myat, 21, biology major. “If they’re not students, taking action is necessary.”

“It’s a very bad thing to commit fraud,” said Isaac Puah Zhi Kang, 18, computer engineering major.

In regards to the issue of AI students, Kang said, “I was a TA for a (computer science) class, and five or six students automatically dropped.”

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About the Contributor
Ingrid Lu
Ingrid Lu, A&E Editor + Features Editor
Hi! I'm Ingrid and I'm the Arts & Entertainment editor for La Voz this quarter. I love keeping up with music, movies, games, and the arts, especially when it's relevant to De Anza. I'm looking forwards to a good quarter!

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