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Lehigh University Student Aryan Anand Deported to India for Faking Documents to Get Full Scholarship 

Lehigh University Student Aryan Anand Deported to India for Faking Documents to Get Full Scholarship 

  • The 19-year-old faked his father’s death, forged transcripts, and used ChatGPT to write his college essay in his applications to various U.S. schools, including the private university in Pennsylvania.

Indian student Aryan Anand has been deported to his home country after he admitted on social media hat he faked his father’s death and forged transcripts to get a scholarship to Lehigh, a private university in Pennsylvania. Using an alias, the 19-year-old revealed his “very structured fraud” in a now-deleted Reddit thread. “I have built my life and career on lies,” he said on the social media site Reddit, where he laid out the details of the scheme, according to a news release from Northampton County’s District Attorney Stephen Baratta. 

Anand, who enrolled at Lehigh as freshman in August 2023, further wrote in the Reddit post that he used ChatGPT to write his college essays and applied to schools across the U.S. that promised to meet a student’s financial needs. He chose Lehigh as it offered him a “very good” package of tuition and nearly full board — “everything but meals,” he wrote, according to various news reports and chat chains on Reddit referencing to the posts. He said his father could have afforded that cost but he would “have to listen to everything he tells me.” So he chose to “craft a fake death certificate, argue that his mother couldn’t afford anything and hope the school would pay more,” he wrote. “The school “promised to cover tuition, housing, meals and even one round-trip flight,” he added. 

He further wrote that he was “nervous about the student visa process, but he had no reason to be.” Recalling the visa process, he wrote that when asked why Lehigh, he “said something unique about the uni and then said they also gave me a full ride, which means full scholarship.” The visa officer saw his visa form, and then approved his student visa. 

But when Anand arrived as a freshman last summer as a computer science major, he was “still unmotivated and cheated on his exams,” he admitted in the Reddit post, according to news reports. Despite knowing that it was illegal for a student visa holder to get a job, he “applied for an internship, fabricated his resume and college records, and got a part-time remote job earning $1,500 monthly,” he wrote. 

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A Reddit moderator flagged Anand’s February posts and identified him to university officials. University police arrested him on April 30, and charged him with a second-degree felony for forgery and tampering with records or identification, a third-degree felony for theft by deception and a third-degree felony for thrift of services.  

Anand pleaded guilty to forgery on June 12. As part of the deal, Anand agreed to return to India and Lehigh University agreed not to pursue restitution of $85,000, according to Northampton County’s District Attorney. The charges of theft and tampering with records were dropped as well, the news release added. He was then released to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which deported him. 

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