Verifying the legitimacy of the university or course you are applying to is crucial for any student. Planning a foreign study trip can take just as much time as designing the course. This includes arranging fees, visas, housing, qualification equivalencies, and travel.
Students want assurances that the institution or university is of a high caliber and that their new degree will be valued enough to obtain a career that justifies the investment, among other things.
Students occasionally neglect to confirm if the university has the authority to grant them a degree in the first place. Studying abroad can be a wise investment, but it also draws con artists, and degree and university scams are multimillion-dollar businesses. Experts at the Education 2.0 Conference discussed how thousands of students join up for courses and pay fees to phony universities and schools giving bogus credentials yearly without their knowledge. International students are a prominent target for fake universities since they may not be familiar with the educational system of the country they have selected.
Some people are developing new institutions, while others try mimicking fundamental institutions. In Manchester, one scam network acquired failing colleges and rebranded them. Students who wanted to study were taken advantage of and brought in as part of the “visas for cash” scam, along with those who merely wished to trick their way into the UK immigration system.
Students may take a few things to safeguard their time and money before even looking into studying courses abroad.
Warning Signs Of A Fake University Scam
- The university guarantees a degree in a short time: The average length of a degree is three to four years. However, if a school promises you a degree in a short time without requiring much academic work from you, the school may be a fraud.
A degree typically requires 120 credit hours, which is an impossible task to complete in a short time. Additionally, there are tests, assignments, and assessments to finish, which keeps many students glued to their books. Always remember that it generally is a scam if everything seems too good to be true.
- Scam universities want an upfront payment in one big sum: Institutions typically don’t demand total payment upfront for their programs. Students are instead billed by the credit hour, by the class, or by the semester. Proceed with caution if you must pay in full before beginning your degree.
- Inadequate contact information: A warning indication of a diploma scam is the absence of essential contact information on an institution’s website, such as a phone number or legal address.
Schools often make this information easily accessible so that potential students can get in touch with them with questions.
- Scam institutions frequently use questionable admission standards: Be wary of institutions that assert anyone can earn a degree regardless of educational level.
Some institutions allow working people to apply their professional experience toward their degrees, allowing them to complete their degrees more quickly and for less money. However, emphasizing real-world experience without requiring you to demonstrate your knowledge of these subjects through tests for your degree is an acceptable reason for concern.
Preventive Measures To Avoid Fake University Scams, As Per Education 2.0 Conference
Verify the legitimacy of the online degree
Choosing a remote learning program or institution that is wholly accredited is the best course of action, according to the experts at a global education event in Vegas. This indicates that the institution or program has been validated or reviewed by experts in the field of education.
Online universities are typically recognized by a body or the National Ministry of Education, which guarantees that they uphold educational requirements. You can find a mention of the University’s accreditation on its website if it has one.
Look for services for students
An educational institution cannot provide financial aid or government-sponsored scholarships without accreditation. Avoid universities where you can only earn a degree through work experience.
Typically, as per a discussion at the Education 2.0 Conference, a course is not certified if it does not require the student to attend classes. If a college lacks amenities like a library, career services, or tutoring, it is generally not an accredited institution of higher learning.
Avoid schools that borrow names from renowned institutions
If the institution’s name looks similar to that of a reputable, prestigious university but has been given additional meaning, you may be the victim of a scam. This is a typical con that would lead you to believe the organization is a part of the esteemed Oxford University if you see a title like Oxford Technological Online University.
Be wary of admission standards that seem too good to be true
If there are only a few requirements for admittance, such as a résumé and a motivation letter, that should cause you to question things. The only situation where this rule is not followed is if the school is an open university, which usually has few entrance criteria.
Avoid paying the tuition in full
It is not a legitimate online program if the university asks for a significant deposit before you even learn if you have been accepted. Universities do not require the full tuition charge; it is entirely optional. Typically, tuition fees are paid in installments once a year or semester.
Search about the faculty members
A college’s teaching staff determines how well its classes are taught. Thus, peruse the faculty area before applying to a college. Be skeptical of the college if the website discusses the support personnel and provides no information on the faculty.
You could also want to cross-reference the faculty members indicated for relatively new universities with networking platforms like Linkedin.
Study the specified curriculum
Colleges that offer degrees faster than it typically takes to finish a course should be avoided. For instance, a college that offers a graduate degree in less than a year is undoubtedly a phony.
The college should have an explicit curriculum that breaks down what each student is expected to do during the semester.
The abovementioned steps may seem like many different procedures, but doing so will help ensure that your decision to enroll in a remote learning degree program will be competent for your future job and educational needs.
However, you must at least adhere to suggestion number one if you wish to skip some of them: Verify the legitimacy of the online degree.
Visit their official website, type in the name of the educational institution, and see if your online school is by a genuine accreditation authority to ensure a particular distance learning school is indeed certified.