If students have not been fully integrated into legitimate society before attending college, they may succumb to the easy, convenient, cheating path to good grades when the opportunity presents itself (Shaw and McKay's social disorganization theory). College campuses have a diversity of cultures represented by their students and faculty that may contribute to cheating since it may cause more conflicts of values, may weaken the realization of common goals, and may weaken bonds to traditional society. When students are not able to get along with people of other cultures and have conflicts with them (Sellin's cultural conflict), the strain of competing may make them turn to the cheating (more convenient) path to good grades. Students may feel they are under strain to achieve the culturally valued end of good grades but may feel unable to get them by culturally accepted means, so they may turn to the convenient, but illegal, means of getting good grades—cheating (Merton's anomie theory).
Conflict theory proposes that society is not held together by agreement but by a dynamic equilibrium of opposing group interests where power is the principle determinate of the outcome of the conflict. Students, who feel powerless in their struggle to get good grades, may turn to the convenient method of cheating as a way to gain power over their situation.
The last social structural theory used in developing convenience theory is feminist theory. If female students view the academic system as male dominated, they may conveniently use cheating in retaliation against the perceived patriarchy.