Online degrees are continually becoming popular as they allow people to set flexible schedules and save money as there are no costs associated with residing on campus. The increase in popularity of online degrees has led to a rise in internet education scams with websites that cheat on individuals by providing worthless online courses at a bargain. Below is a list of tips to minimize the chances of being tricked by such scams.
Check Graduate Reviews
Checking reviews from graduates online is an excellent way to establish the reliability of the programs offered by the institution. You can also assess what the university is like by reviewing what former students say about it. Most students post reviews on education-related websites, and they will mention if the certificate they obtained from the institution is certified by the Grand Canyon University accreditation agency or not.
Check the Accreditation Status
Before committing to distant learning, ensure the institution of choice is fully accredited. It indicates that the university or program has been thoroughly reviewed by professionals in the field and verified. The National Ministry of Education or Grand Canyon University accreditation professionals will recognize online universities, and if the institution is accredited, you will receive a reference on the institution’s website.
Verify the University Contact Details
You can always visit their website for more information about a specific institution. Consider it a red flag if you fail to find contact information or the campus address, as it indicates that you may be dealing with a scammer. However, some universities offer online education only, which means they may lack an address. Such institutions should provide contact information on their websites to allow prospective students to contact them.
Avoid Paying the Tuition Fees Upfront
It is most likely not a legitimate online institution if the online university requires you to pay money upfront before being admitted. Most universities do not need students to pay the total tuition fee upfront; such fees are paid in installments each semester or year. A request for a considerable payment is a red flag, and you should investigate to establish the institution’s legitimacy before making payments.
Familiar Name, but Not Quite Right
You may be dealing with a scammer if you come across a familiar name that does not sound right. Many fake programs create websites with similar names to trick unsuspecting students. Most scammers use the name of a reputed prestigious university, which makes most applicants think that the institution is part of the university listed.
Assess the Resources Offered by Online Universities
Accredited online institutions have various resources on their websites. Student services include programs like a library, financial aid, a writing center, child care, and tutoring career services. If none of the services are available, there is a high possibility you are dealing with a scam institution.
Verifying whether an online university is accredited is essential as the certificate from an accredited institution helps you to secure employment and further your education in the future. You can also visit the websites of various non-governmental agencies tasked with storing the information of accredited institutions to establish whether the online school you are interested in is accredited.