5 Tips to Uncover Scams When Choosing an Online Degree

Friday, November 12, 2021

Are you interested in pursuing an online degree after high school? When assessing your options, make sure you take into account the following tips to rule out all possible scams and choose a fully accredited online degree.

High school is a time of difficult decision making. Students need to handle the load of studying, and, at the same time, start to worry about their future

It’s definitely not easy to choose where and what we want to study, as these decisions will have a huge impact on our futures. When it comes to choosing a degree, there are many aspects you need to consider. From the career opportunities it leads to and its earning potential, to whether you want to study on-campus or online, your interests, passions and what you are good at, this decision entails so many different aspects that it can be overwhelming and extremely difficult.

Are you considering studying online after high school? Not only should you think about what you want to study, but you also need to worry about accreditation. Otherwise, you will definitely acquire knowledge and skills, but you will end up with an unrecognized degree, which would be a waste of time, money and effort. 

How can I make sure that an online degree is accredited?

In recent years, online learning has grown at staggering rates, which has led to more opportunities for legitimacy and transparency. However, there are still some online programs that are fraudulent, and you need to be careful to avoid wasting your time.

The following are some signs that an online university or an online degree is a scam:

Suspicious accreditation status

Potential students must assess any degree they are interested in. If they suspect a college is falsely claiming accreditation, they should start by digging deeper into the university, and making sure that it is accredited by the Department of Education and any other accrediting agency. 

Partly familiar university’s name

We know how wrong it is, but it is not completely uncommon to find institutions who steal renowned names and modify it a little bit to deceive students. In this case, students should do extensive research to make sure the online program is legitimate. 

The online degree is claimed to be fast and easy to earn

Major red flag: An online institution is promising potential students they can earn a degree without much time and effort. Any degree, whether it is online or on-campus, requires effort and time. Otherwise, students won’t be getting a quality education that allows them to acquire the skills and knowledge to compete in the workforce. 

Murky address

Prospective students must check not only the physical, but also the web address of the online institution. Typically, universities and other higher education institutions’ URLs end in .edu, which means that if the online institution has another URL, it might be a warning sign. 

They are pressuring or giving you incentives to get you to enroll

If the counselor sounds more like a salesperson than an advisor and you feel they are pressuring you to enroll, this is a major warning sign. 

If you want to make sure you choose a fully accredited online degree, these are some of the signs you need to take into consideration.

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