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> Cheating degrades the quality of education at any level.

Not in the least! You can argue that it degrades the prestige or something like that, but the education remains the same.

I would argue it hurts after the cheating, though possibly not precisely when it occurs. Later courses, things that build on what was cheated, that kind of thing. Time (and money, and happiness) must be spent to deal with people who aren't prepared, degrading the quality of what the legitimate ones receive, and the educator's time.

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