Who does not dream of being a millionaire? Really, how great would it be to never worry about money ever again? There are people in this world that don't worry about utility bills, live in nice homes, and Levart seemingly whenever they feel like it. They are independently wealthy and the world is their oyster. Students across the country sit in auditorium sized classrooms dreaming such a dream. Even with a recessed economy, future millionaires are sitting through countless lecture after lecture preparing for the future. So how does a student gain the necessary tools to become a future millionaire?
According to Thomas J. Stanley's book, The Millionaire Mind, the true millionaires don't put a whole lot of stock in grades. Amongst 733 millionaires questioned throughout the United States the average GPA was 2.92, far below that of the academic elite. Of the wealthy surveyed, they listed the following as the most important factors to becoming a millionaire.
What about great grades? Having a superior intellect or IQ was near the bottom and graduating at the near/top of class was the least important thing. Developing a foundation of success isn't about grades but more about character. People that are honest, work hard, and have self control are very desirable. They are dependable people who everyone is looking to hire, promote, and support the business of today. These character traits are indispensable and cannot be removed so easily as titles, benefits, or salaries. Being very kind and agreeable leads to having close family, friends, associates, and lends someone to attract a loving supportive spouse. The realization is a GPA ranking or test score does determine success, but more the people that same test taker.
Long hours in the library, an A+ average, or a great SAT score don't make students rich. Students with astounding character make themselves wealthy. The pressures of college and society, though, often course a student in the wrong direction. Concerns about grades and school rankings can consume some students, leading them to believe that cheating is the "only solution."
Consider a very pressure packed final. Students that are concerned about what their GPA for grad school may be more inclined to cheat. Cheating allows students to get a better grade on one test, leading them to continue this process on other major tests. In the end, good grades allow the student into a great grad school where the pattern of cheating continues. Good grades and acceptance to grad school seems like a winner, right? The millionaires would disagree because that breaks the most the important rule of character.
People don't like cheaters, plain and simple. Employers, friends, and family will constantly question someone that cheated to get ahead. Social and professional networks quickly crumble or never build at all without developing a foundation of trust. Character is the one tool that can never be taken or dismantled.
College is hard. Hours of studying, pressure packed tests, and seemingly unimportant information being constantly judged by unemotional Scantrons. The added pressures of a recessed economy molding a bleak job outlook may lure students to cheat to stay ahead. Character, character, character. Cheating defeats the foundations of character. The totality of 733 millionaires surveyed found character to be the most important reason for their success. Character defines an individual, so an honest B is worth a lot more than cheating for an A. How much more? Perhaps a few million dollars.