Fraudulent Colleges Online – Students Beware !!

April 23rd, 2009, Kelly Gibson

How does Online Education work?

Online education is a solution to many learning issues aspiring students who wish to pursue graduation or professionals aiming for specialization or students suffering from health reasons and thereby not in a position to attend regular colleges, moms who don’t wish to part from their children and so every person who expresses his or her inability to attend regular campus education due to reasons of their own but wish to continue their education find online education an apt solution for all their educational needs. The convenience and the flexibility of any time any where study, requiring no compromise on professional front or other day to day commitments, reasonable fees, no restriction in number of admissions, no bothering admission deadlines, online classes and distant lectures enables an individual to completely enjoy virtual college experience in lines of real college education.

Online Degree basically thrives upon technological advancement and tools which makes virtual learning experience a reality. Video conferencing, instant messaging, interactive forums, etc., help in making online educational programmes an effective way of learning.

Finding Online Fraudulent Colleges

Lack of familiarity with the virtual sphere or so called web based technology makes online degree programs and course curriculum slightly on a foreign tone. When it requires great effort to identify online colleges and the courses offered, just imagine trying to find the fraudulent ones in them. No doubt a mind boggling exercise which needs patience and perseverance to ensure your effort to find the right Online College is properly focused.

Before that you proceed identifying fraudulent online colleges, Wait a minute! What is your understanding when I say fraudulent online colleges? Well, they are illegitimate educational institutions which pretend to offer educational programs but finally end up making money and offer cheap course materials or sell degree certificates for the money offered. In other words, taking advantage of a student’s genuine interest and persuasion to continue education over the net these fraudulent online colleges swindle money from such students causing loss of time, money and above all a disgusting feeling of having been cheated.
Thanks to the ongoing research and sharing of experiences by the victims of online fraudulent colleges that to day we are in a position to jot down few tell-tale signs of fraudulent companies and identify them before falling prey.

  • Are you offered a Degree or Diploma for a ridiculously short period of time? Beware! They could be scams.
  • Are the Online courses talking about the term called “life experiences”? Does the course talk about how your day to day experiences are helping you get a graduation or a diploma certification? Remember to graduate you should be trained in the course curriculums specific to the subject of study chosen. Sheer promises talking about life’s experiences giving you a degree is all stories. Come on wake up! They are well planned frauds.
  • Does the advertisement seem to be too good to be true? Be sure, they are fraudulent colleges. Anything impossible and impracticable are just false promises and fraudulent practices to swindle money from aspiring students.
  • Normally fraudulent colleges offer financial aid similar to recognized colleges but they generally are small grants and huge loans. Remember, only properly accredited colleges or educational institutions can offer loans and grants such as Pell Grants, Stafford Loans and other specified special financial aid programs.
  • All the while I was talking about how you could possibly be deceived and fall pray to fraudulent online colleges. Here is another variety of fraud which explicitly claims to offer degree certificates or diploma certifications for money. It is like pay money and take your desired certificate home. There are students who try to resort to such illegal and unhealthy practices of buying their educational certificates under the impression that they will never ever be spotted out.
  • There are certain Online colleges those which not necessarily indulge in the above said practices but end up being unfair to students in their rightful claims and facilities thereby causing hardship to students in completing their education successfully.

Considering the above said signs of identifying fraudulent online colleges ensure that you do not victimize yourself or your friends and thereby make a better use of your time money and motivation. These colleges offer upto the level of PhD, if you are willing to pump in more money. There are several organizations and online support systems that enable you to verify the credibility and the performance of the online college or university you wish to pursue your education with. Make use of this facility to ensure that your enrolment is with a legitimate educational institution with accreditation from Recognized Regional Organizations and U.S. Department of Education.

Checking for Accreditation

To ensure you do not get into the paws of online fraudulent colleges you can log on to (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) and (Distance Education and Training Council) to check for accreditation of online educational institutions and thereby ensure they are not fraudulent companies.

Listing some of those Online Colleges and their fraudulent practices

  • Columbia State University – This university has no campus, no course curriculum or team of faculties but was known as one of the highly profitable online educational institutions. The owner of this university pleaded guilty to fraud charges of selling degree and diploma certificates for money, where the buyer of these certificates were very much aware of the fraud being committed. The FBI Diploma Mill–Busting Task Force declared the fraudulent company as the Diploma Mill and was shut down subsequently in the year 2004.
    In one of the web sites belonging to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called post-gazette NOW came up an article about of hundreds of non existent schools selling degrees over the net. The case of Columbia State University came to light when Twanda Carlisle was scrutinized for authorizing a controversial study written by Lee Otto Johnson on city health issues wherein he proclaimed a Doctorate from Columbia State University which later was identified as a phony degree.
  • University Of Berkley – This university operated out of an Industrial park in Erie. This was proclaimed as a notorious diploma mill and fraudster company. The owner of the company Dennis Globosky was fined a penalty to the tune of around $75,000 and was ordered a shutdown by Pennsylvania Attorney General in early 2007 as reported in post gazette NOW.
  • Trinity Southern University – This is the case of a fraudulent online college or more aptly called diploma mill which made headlines. The state employees successfully obtained masters of business administration degree paying around $398 for Colby Nolan, a Cat. The owners of Trinity Southern University, Craig and Alton Poe were also restrained under Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by the Texas Attorney General.
  • Stanton University – Investigations revealed that Michael Ray Rosenberry was charged for falsification of information provided about his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration in Stanton University, while the truth is that he did nothing but paying money for the so claimed degree in law.
  • Lima University – Marti Buscaglia the to be publisher of News Tribune of Orange County (Calif.) was discovered to have falsified her graduation from Lima University which in reality she did not study.
  • Harrington University – Pay money and there you get the Harrington University Diploma within 10 business days no matter which part of the globe you are located. No website, no campus, no accreditation. This fraudster university had a luring business unlike other un-accredited schools using internet and e-mail marketing. Bachelors, masters or PhD’s, there you get not for training in the course curriculum but for the so called “life experience”.
  • Capitol University – Buy bachelors degree for only around $399, Masters for only $499 and PhD for $699. The British Virgin Islands based virtual school proclaimed that the non traditional degrees offered where entirely on job experience was an accredited graduation which one can get in less than 14 days. The racket was later identified as a Diploma Mill.
  • Monticello University – With a highly professional website and tall claims all that the university did was offering a quick degree certificates to students taking huge amounts towards the so called course fee. The university operator Leslile Snell was convicted in Hawaii and Kansas for issuing false degrees and was fined a huge sum of around $1.7 million. The penalty against the Monticello University was one of the largest.
  • Honolulu University and University of North Washington – These are two other un-accredited and identified fraudulent colleges that were believed to be operating from Hawaii, according to a news report form U.S. Department of Education.