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article imageOnline job ad offers $40k per year to pose as 'Harvard student'

By Natty Walker     Dec 20, 2013 in Internet
Cambridge - An alleged "Harvard student" is offering a payment of $40,000 per year to a qualified candidate willing to pose as him while attending classes at Harvard University.
The job advertisement is posted in the "writing gigs" section of the Craigslist site for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Craigslist poster is apparently male and claims to have been accepted to Harvard. He is willing to pay someone to take his classes for him. Not only is this person offering $40k per year, there is also a $10,000 graduation bonus.
According to the Craigslist ad, a potential candidate for the alleged job would need to "attend all classes, pass all tests, and finish all assigned work, while pretending you are me." The imposter would start classes in August 2014, hopefully graduating four years later with a degree in the name of the person that posted the ad. In the words of the advertiser, "Your age does not matter, but you must be a male since I have a male name."
However, the academic requirements for a potential candidate are much stricter. The user requires, "You must have either a 4.0 GPA in high school, or a 3.5 or higher GPA from a university to get hired for this." It is unclear what the imposter's major would need to be, or if the advertiser even requires a specific major.
Craigslist has since flagged and removed the ad, but not before it was noticed by people desperately looking for a job. Others believed the ad was their golden opportunity to attend the Ivy League school of their dreams. One user responded, "I guarantee that you will never find somebody as willing or as passionate to do this for you." The replier even declined the full $40k salary, stating, "I'm not doing this for the money, the opportunity that you're giving me is enough."
Though the ad seems too good to be true, the timing actually is correct. The person that posted the ad claimed they had been accepted to Harvard, and would start classes in the Fall of 2014. Harvard University sent 992 acceptance notices to early applicants for the class of 2018 a few days before the post. Chronologically, the advertiser could have recently discovered his early acceptance to Harvard. Since the ad was taken down by Craigslist, the advertiser has not been able to be traced. It has not been confirmed whether or not this was a legitimate "job" offer, or a prank.
This certainly isn't the first Craigslist ad involving Harvard that's too extreme to be true. Also, it isn't the first time, even this month, that a Harvard student went to extreme illegal measures to avoid doing coursework. It probably won't be the last, either. With all the controversy surrounding Harvard and Craigslist this year, it is impossible to predict what headlines will be inspired by both the college and the website in 2014.
More about Harvard, Craigslist, job advertisement, Hoax
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