So many people are turning to online college degrees and distance learning programs to improve their skills and get international jobs. It’s no surprise, then, that online degrees have become so popular because they allow you to work at your own pace, set flexible study schedules, and save money by removing all costs associated with living. on the campus.
Unfortunately, the popularity of online degrees has resulted in a slew of fake universities offering online degrees. The most common type of internet education scam involves so-called degrees. Some websites can defraud you by pretending to be a legitimate school and offering essentially worthless online degrees at a very affordable rate.
Another method used by scammers is that they may appear as genuine universities and provide fake online forms offering distance or distance education.
Many people, including Nigerians, have been exploited by these so-called universities, with many refusing to reveal their ordeal to the public. However, because these fake universities exist, it is clear that there are many victims.
It is essential to check these boxes before spending your money and committing to an online degree or diploma. Here are the things to look out for when considering an online degree:
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Check Degree Accreditation Online
The most effective method is to ensure that any distance learning school or program you choose is fully accredited. This means that the school or program has been validated or verified by its educational peers.
Online universities are usually recognized by an agency or the national ministry of education as having met teaching standards.
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Make sure the university has been validated by external bodies such as:
- ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education)
- EURASHE (European Association of Institutions of Higher Education)
- ENIC Network (European Network of National Information Centers on Academic Recognition and Mobility)
- EABHES (European Accreditation Board of Higher Education Schools)
- CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation)
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for the United States
These non-governmental agencies study accreditation issues in education and if the university is accredited, you will find a reference to it on their website.
According to StudyPortals, the red flags to note are:
- Universities that copy the names of famous institutions
Oxford Technological Online University, for example, is a classic scam that suggests the institution is part of the prestigious Oxford University.
- Admission criteria that seem too simple
If the admission criteria are minimum or very simple requirements, such as a CV and cover letter, you should be skeptical. The only exception is if the institution is an open university with few admission requirements.
Most tuition fees are normally paid in installments, each year or semester, so most full tuition fees might be a red flag.
- Does not have student support services
Accredited online universities have resources available on their websites regarding student support services or libraries. If you do not find this information available, most likely the institution is invalid.
- Contact details cannot be verified
When looking for more information, browse the institution’s website. Some universities are definitely online-only and may not have a campus address, but they should still have business contact information.
- Negative graduate reviews on Google
Getting feedback on the university will give you a good idea of how it works and how reliable the programs are. On university pages or education-related websites like Study portals, many students leave reviews, so you can determine whether it is safe to proceed based on their reviews.
Another red flag to note is that they don’t use the “.edu” url, but usually end in “.com” or “.net”.
List of Unaccredited Online Universities in the United States of America
There are some non-accredited institutions according to Studyabroad which is not an exhaustive list. Here are a few:
Washington International University
It was founded in 1994 and is an institution of higher education without accreditation and is on the list of fake online universities in the United States. In the British Virgin Islands, there is a private university called Washington International University.
The university describes itself as a non-traditional distance learning international cyber-university, without a campus, but lacks both a campus and the setting typical of a higher education institution. All programs are web-based and offer online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering, business, and liberal arts.
Frederick Taylor University
Fredrick Taylor University is another institution on the list of fake online universities in USA. This is a private university that offers online degree programs that are not accredited in the United States. It offers certificate programs in management and business administration as well as bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
Despite being approved by the California Office of Private Post-Secondary Education, Fredrick Taylor University does not have endorsement from any accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Therefore, even if you enroll in this institution and pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration or management, companies will not accept your degree despite the fact that you may possess the necessary skills.
- Central American University, Wyoming
- American Bible College University, Arizona
- American Century University, New Mexico
- American Coast University
- American University of Hawaii
- Ames Christian University, Florida
- University of Bienville
- Cal Southern University
- Christian Leadership University, New York
- Columbia State University
- University of Columbus, Picayune, Mississippi
- Commonwealth Open University, Virgin Islands
- Delta International University, New Orleans
- Frederick Taylor University
- Christian University of Georgia Norcross, Georgia
- International Bible University, Norwalk, California
- Lacrosse University
- LaSalle University, Louisiana
- Christian University, Tampa, Florida
- Louisiana Baptist University, Louisiana
- University of Madison
- Monticello University
- University of the South Pacific
- Tennessee Christian University
- The University of Beverly Hills
- Northern Virginia University
- University of Northern Washington
- Northwestern University
- United Nations University
- University of Vancouver around the world
- Washington International University
List of Unaccredited Online Universities in UK
Here is also a Studyabroad list of unaccredited universities in the UK:
New Castle University
This university is clearly a scam as it uses the name of the prestigious Newcastle University. One way to spot a fake university online is when it almost exactly mimics the name of a real university, making people susceptible to being duped.
New Castle University is a fake and has no level of accreditation; and is not affiliated with Newcastle University, which is a prestigious higher education institution in the UK. As a result, it is listed as one of the fake universities in UK, and you should not fall for it.
Cambridge College of Learning
This university is clearly fake, as it claims to have affiliations with the University of Cambridge. Many have fallen for it, losing thousands of pounds. It is not accredited and has no affiliation with the University of Cambridge.
- Bransfield University
- Cambridge College of Learning
- Robert Gordon International University
- Manchester Open University – Not to be confused with present-day University of Manchester or The Open University
- Rutland University, Leicester – Not to be confused with University of Leicester
- The University of Devonshire
- New Castle University
- McALLister University
- University of Wanswick – Not to be confused with University of Warwick
- University of Wolverhampton – Not to be confused with University of Wolverhampton. The authentic has a ‘p’ in its spelling
- Youngsfield University
In summary, while it’s a good idea to get a degree or diploma online, you need to do your due diligence to avoid being defrauded and wasting your time and effort.