Online College Courses: How to Spot & Avoid Scams

Posted by admin on March 15, 2013 under Article | Be the First to Comment

The availability of online college courses now means that it is possible to study according to your own schedule. Instead of having to attend classes at a specific time, you can tailor the online course so it fits around your life, not the other way around. However, it is a mistake to assume that such courses are cheap: According to statistics gleaned from the academic year 2010/11, students taking part in online college courses still faced an average debt of almost $23,000.

It is understandable that prospective students would like to find a cheaper alternative and this is why fake college courses are so prominent. They offer a low cost course that seems to be legitimate until students discover that the college is not accredited. Unfortunately, it is too late at this point as they have been scammed out of thousands of dollars.

Spotting a Scam
In the United States and most nations around the world, getting enrolled into college is a complicated process with lots of documentation involved. If you find an institution offering an online college course without needing to see a transcript with your application, or else they seemingly have few requirements, it is almost certain that you’re dealing with a scam. Diploma mills cleverly choose names that sound similar to prestigious universities around the world. It is common for scammers to add the word ‘state’ into the names of their faux colleges to make them sound legitimate.

7 Things to Look Out For
1.    Online college courses offering credits for real world experience.
2.    Payment is on a ‘per degree’ basis instead of the normal ‘per semester’ arrangement.
3.    Addresses that are actually box numbers.
4.    No communication with lecturers.
5.    Discounts for enrolling in several programs!
6.    Bachelor’s Degree programs that can be completed in a few months.
7.    Names similar to those of well-known universities.

Taking Care
State and federal agencies are working tirelessly to shut down the diploma mill and fake online college course scam but there are thousands of perpetrators and it is proving impossible to find and close them all down. If you fall for such a scam, you could spend months studying for a non-existent degree and be several thousand dollars out of pocket. Worst of all, it is possible that you’ll sign a document that forces you to adhere to expensive legal obligations that last for years.

Your best course of action is never to trust any online college degree course that purports to be the real deal until you are sure of their legitimacy. Merely accepting their claims of accreditation is foolish and you need to check with the Department of Education to verify the authenticity of the institution and the online college course they are offering. If the college offers a physical address, check it out. Compare the cost of the course to that of a reputable college in your area and if the entire process seems suspiciously easy, walk away! Your college education should be an avenue to a better life, don’t take chances and don’t allow diploma mills to relieve you of your cash.

Add A Comment