- All legitimate colleges must be accredited
- Colleges must have an operational campus
- Colleges that do not offer details about their faculty should not be trusted
Identifying fake universities and colleges is a headache for students who want to go and study abroad. It is crucial for foreign students to ensure that the college they are applying to is a real educational institution.
In early 2019, 129 Indian students were affected by a student visa fraud wherein they were enrolled in fake universities. The students were detained in the USA and faced deportation.
So, how do you protect yourself and ensure the college you’re applying to is a real college? Here are a few tips to identify a fake university:
Some of The Blacklisted Universities In The USA
|American College of Brazilian Studies (AMBRA)||Florida|
|American Global International University||Florida|
|American Global University School of Medicine||Ohio|
|American International University of Management and Technology||Hawaii|
|American Management University||California|
|American School of Metaphysics,||New York|
|Cal Southern University||Texas|
|Geo-Metaphysical Institute,||New York|
|International American University||California|
You can find the complete list of universities and schools blacklisted worldwide here.
Ways To Tell If A College Or University Is Fake
Every educational institute and program must be officially accredited. For instance, there are approximately 60 organizations in the USA that can accredit colleges and universities.
You can cross check the accreditation mentioned on the college or university website with the Department of Education’s website to see whether it has received its certification from a well-known agency or not.
You may also check the accreditation institute’s website to see whether the school name is listed there.
2. Student Services
Without accreditation, an educational institute cannot offer government-aided scholarships or any kind of financial assistance. Avoid colleges that allow students to get degrees purely through work experience.
A course that does not require the student to attend classes is usually not a certified one. If the school does not have facilities such as a library, career services or tutoring, the college is probably not a legitimate educational institution.
3. Geographical Address
The University of Farmington, the fake university that was part of the student visa scam had only a P.O box number. There was no official address available. This alone should have been a red flag.
When you look at newer schools and colleges, take a close look at the campus address. Even if it does not have a very large campus, it should have sufficient classrooms.
It may be a good idea to take a look at the address given on the website on the satellite view of Google maps.
A college is only as good as the faculty that teaches in its classes. Thus, before applying to a college, look through the faculty section. If the website does not offer details on faculty but only mentions support staff, be wary of the college.
For relatively new colleges, you may also want to cross reference the faculty names mentioned with networking websites such as Linkedin.
5. Defined Curriculum
Be wary of colleges that offer degrees in less than the average time it would take to complete the course. For example, a college that offers a graduate degree in under a year is probably a fake one.
Instead, the college should have a defined curriculum with a breakup of what the student is expected to do during the course.