Beware of College Scams

  • According to a report, "Undercover Testing Finds Colleges Encouraged Fraud and Engaged in Deceptive and Questionable Marketing Practices" published by the United States Accounting Office (GAO):
  •  For-profit colleges told applicants to commit financial aid fraud.
  • One admissions rep told a student to hide $250,000 in savings;
  • All fifteen for-profit schools engaged in some form of deceptive or questionable marketing.
  • Salespersons often hide the total costs
  •  For-profit degree costs at 14 of the 15 colleges investigated were higher than those of local state colleges and universities.
  • One on line college charged. $14,000 for a  massage therapy certificate  — yet the same certificate from a nearby community college was just $520.
  •  High-pressure, questionable marketing tactics were used.

    Applicants were sometimes pressured to sign enrollment agreements and make deposits before being given access to financial aid information

GAO-10-948T: Published: Aug 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2010.

  • Be careful of on line colleges that may not be accredited but make big promises. They may take your Pell grant and state grant money and have you sign papers which are loans. Some of these schools have very high tuition especially when compared to state colleges. If you want an on line college, first check out your local state college. Most of them have classes on line. 
  • For example:
  • If you are interested in majoring in criminal justice or forensic psychology. one of the best colleges in the country is John Jay College, part of the City of New York University System. The in state tuition (paying cash) for four years would be $46,400 if your family income is over $100,000. If your family income is under $100,000 it is free if you stay in New York for four years after you graduate. John Jay has excellent professors and full student services.
  • If you go to Phoenix University, a for profit college, the tuition for a four year criminal justice degree is $65,497 for four years, $21,097 more than full tuition at John Jay. Be very careful in choosing any on line college. It does not make sense to pay such high tuition when the State supported college offers so much more, including prestige, accreditation and a degree to be proud of!