Are advertised online distant learning programs legitimate?

I have recently come across some very ingenious ways of a group (I believe) scamming people (mostly residents of the GCC) of their hard earned or sometimes loaned money in an attempt to buy (I believe) a fake degree or university education in a very short time at a fraction of the costs.

Hopefully, those reading this will find out the truth and not fall for this. Maybe LinkedIn, (update) Facebook and Google will remove the Ads and these “institutions” will be removed and fined, if the practices are investigated and it actually is a scam.

Again, I am presenting the facts as I see them and do not flat out accuse the universities or their parent(s) of anything –
learnforsuccessfulcareer.com, (updated 14/03/2014) internationalonlinestudies.com, edupartnership.com, globalacademicexperts.com, graduateinminutes.com, educationforyourprofession.com, geteducatedforsuccess.com, (update 21/04/2014) – quickgraduate.com


If there is any reason to believe these are genuine, comments are highly appreciated. UPDATE : The sites claim to have affiliations with CHEA and other legitimate sources as well as real schools in US like UC Davis but what you get is one of the bogus schools listed in the school list a few paragraphs down.

The setup

Advertising in a reputable source like LinkedIn.com,
Facebook.com or on Google
 Ad in LinkedIn
Ad 2 in LinkedIn

Picture Ad in LinkedIn
Ad in Google

Ad 2 in Google

UPDATE: These people are now so desperate that they have pictures of Saudi and UAE Rulers in their Ads!

Graduate in Minutes. Ad with King of Saudi Arabia
Ad in Facebook with Shaikh Mohammed Ruler of Dubai, UAE

Degree in 8 Months

Very eye catching and extremely attractive claims
legit_02

legit_03

Fill in a form with your details including desired major
Chat with a “Student Advisor”

 

Let the scamming begin

This scripted and very polished act would fool a large section of those that don’t know better. Being the suspicious type, I ask for the proof of validity and accreditation. A typical chat goes like this. The original transcript is much more enticing. Infact, you can try it yourself.

Steve: Hello,

Le me : hi Steve. I didn’t go to College. I would like to go for my Bachelor’s degree.

Steve : Excellent. You will be a student of Ballpark University.  Ballpark University is has been established in 1981. We established online training courses in 1998 and we are now offering distant learning and online courses and degrees for international customers. Our alumni is 50,421 strong and consists of students from 120 countries. We have two options here:

  1. Provide you a degree based on your work experience
  2. Take a course and earn your degree

Steve : Do you have work experience

Le me : Sure. I’m an IT professional

Steve : Then maybe you would be interested in our 1st option.

Le me : How do I know if it’s legitimate

Steve : We are the first and only UAE and Saudi accredited US University with (obscure accreditation)

{University Website}

{Link to Sample Degree – UAE}

{Link to Sample Degree – Saudi}

{Links to iReport from CNN}

{Links to obscure accreditation websites}

Link to an actual chat (coming Soon)

Why a Scam

A Google search later…

Le me : I just did a background check and found that Google doesn’t list you in their searches except those links you gave.

Steve : {More Links to obscure accreditation websites}

Le me : moreover, the links you gave as well as your university has the same Registrar…and they were created this year

Steve : {Excuses}

Le me : Derp!

bit_pls

University is not listed in Google sites
other than the obscure linked sites
If the University is legitimate and been there for as long as they say, shouldn’t they be plastered all over the internet. Shouldn’t there be any Alumni Facebook or LinkedIn pages. All I found in the search results were the university sites, sites where you can write your own “report”, the CNN iReport pages (which you can make yourself – see here) and the obscure accreditation sites including one that was a phishing site.Why should links of it being a fraud be in the top search results. See some results below. Why not try it out yourself.legit_google

Domains with long names?
Sites like ArabAccreditationCouncil.com/.org, WorldAcademicNews.com and Universities with a long domain name like NelsonBayUniversity, instead of nelsonbay.edu or nbu.com are clear signs that most likely these are fakes. The internet is running out of useful shorter names and hence longer names are being used. If these universities as old as claimed, surely they would be able to secure short names before the internet boom gobbled them up.
Same domain registrar and registered so recently?
This was the clincher. I cannot believe that it’s a coincidence that all the sites listed had the same domain and registered in 2012 or 2013. What happened to the 1981 or even 1998 claim. Excuses are made that the site was recently revamped. But that doesn’t negate the fact that the domain was recently registered.legit_whois

In comparison, you can see that saudkazia.com is a fairly older domain, but only recently have I started a website on it :).

legit_skcom

 

And a site as old and famous as toyota.com, well see for yourself.

legit_toycom

UPDATE : Beware of this girl (more to come)
Chat Girl
For some reason they can’t afford a new picture for each of their websites. Without fail, every single one that I visited had the same graphic. Coincidence…I think not…
What accreditation?
Google will tell you that the following sites are a scam or anyone can be a member. and the first two have already been debunked in the previous section. The list keeps on going with one bogus name after another. After putting together this list I found somebody had beat me to it by a long shot by posting this but this list has been verified by myself and I have given a description so there :). (updated on 14/03/2014)

  1. ArabAccreditationCouncil.org or ArabAccreditationCouncil.com (AAC) : a very well done site that may fool anyone that is not suspicious already. Owned by DNC Holdings
  2. WorldAcademicNews.com : Owned by DNC Holdings
  3. Global Accreditation Board for Distance Learning (GABDL) : owned by DNC Holdings registered 2013
  4. International Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology Education (IABETE) : owned by DNC Holdings registered 2013
  5. Association for Accreditation of Business Schools & Programs (AABSP) : owned by DNC Holdings registered 2013
  6. European Accreditation Board for Online Education (EABAOE) : owned by DNC Holdings registered 2013
  7. Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) :  this is a non-profit organization to enhance higher education online, but nothing of accreditation and couldn’t find where it listed the University
  8. American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) : this is a membership program. nothing of accreditation and couldn’t find where it listed the University
  9. Institute of International Education (IIE) :  this is a not-for-profit organization, but nothing of accreditation and couldn’t find where it listed the University
  10. Educause.edu : this is a non-profit organization to enhance higher education online, but nothing of accreditation
  11. iReport. Anyone can do this as mentioned in previous section.
  12. Middle East Accreditation Council (MEAC) : Another one of the bogus ones from DNC Holdings registered “you guessed it” 2013. Unfortunately this was really hard to track as it’s not a simple .com website but .me and not ranked high in Google
  13. International Accreditation Association for Online Schools (IAAOS) : Wow. That’s a mouthful. See if you can say it three times really quickly. He he. Again…Bogus from DNC Holdings registered 2013.
  14. International Accreditation Council for Engineering Professionals : Another LONG name that could be used as a tongue twister. This one was registered with a domainbyproxy privacy guard so the only information I could find is that it was registered in 2013 but DNS points to DNChosting.com so it’s from the same group. Oh yeah – this is a .co. Running out of .coms are we?
  15. Global Accreditation Commission for Distance Education (GACDE) : same same. Registered. Well 2010. Must be one of the older ones they registered. Again by DNC Holdings
  16. Accreditation Commission For Higher Education (ACFHE) : I couldn’t find the website for this one. The Creek View University website mentions it but doesn’t have any link where it says “click here”…hmmm
  17. Distance Learning Quality Assurance Agency (DLQAA) : Couldn’t find this either.
  18. Central American Distance Learning Association (CADLA)
  19. Another .co registered 2013 pointing to DNChosting.com
  20. European Accreditation Board of Higher Education (EABHE) : This one could have fooled anyone. It seems so real. But the whois proved otherwise. 2013 registered by DNC Hostings
  21. NAFSA : This was only as a small logo on Midtown University’s page and NAFSA is legitimate…Except….Membership is for “Any individual who is interested in NAFSA’s mission and wants to engage with a community of leaders in the field of international education is encouraged to join the association”. That means pay the fees and be a member no real qualification required. Also, no mention of memberships of the Universities under question
  22. Universal Accreditation Council (UAC) : User Account Control in Windows? NO this is not a technical entry so to speak. Again no website could be found
  23. Accreditation Board for International Online Education (ABIOE) : AEIOU and sometimes Y. This is just getting ridiculous. Again I couldn’t find any website for this
  24. Accreditation Bureau for Higher Learning (ABHL) : DNC Holdings. End of 2012. Shoots a few months earlier…oh well
  25. International Accreditation Association For Online Education (IAAFOE) : doesn’t the IAAFOE give it away. Again by DNC Holdings but surprisingly this was registered in 2008. You could imagine how long ago this scam may have been operating
  26. International Online Education Accrediting Board (IOEAB) : Well this is uncannily similar to IBIOE. This one has a website and owned by DNC Holdings registered in 2008

 

What’s Next

If you do get suckered into their program, which unfortunately I was at first, this is what to expect :

legit_email

Notice all the attempts at luring the unsuspecting student ; a great marketing ploy.

  1. Association with US and GCC Academic bodies ; that either don’t exist or there is no link to validate that claim
  2. Discounted rates ; supposedly a “scholarship”
  3. Limited offer only ; which doesn’t really end.
  4. Claims of first and only University to offer this ; but all their universities offer this

In the very unfortunate event that you do decide to enroll. They will start your “enrollment” and ask for a few documents. Once the enrollment process starts, failure to going through with this, incase you change your mind, you will be harassed by phone incessantly to proceed with the program and payment. As a friend once said, who asked to talk to one “student advisor”, are these guys from the same planet, people have a right to change their mind. The phone calls are still coming…

 

Universities to Avoid

Following is a list of Universities that are part of this scam. There could be many more. The ACC and GABDL websites made my search a bit easier. The ones in BOLD have been personally verified through the whois method. Let me know if there are more or in the rare event any of these are actually legitimate. Links to the sites have not been provided as this would rank them up in the search engines. However, a simple search will more than satisfy any thirst to discover the truth. I should also add that the websites are getting more and more professional with magnificent logos and pages and pages of information. Some sites even have bogus faculty members (probably pictures taken from LinkedIn or Facebook public profiles). Unfortunately there is only a picture and some other information no link to an actual profile or contact information just incase you wanted to chat up.(list updated 21/04/2014)

  1. Brooklyn Park University
  2. American Mideast University
  3. Al Afroz University
  4. Nixon University
  5. Ashley University
  6. American Gulf University
  7. Baytown University
  8. The Rising Gulf University
  9. Aleppo Academy University
  10. Pittsford University
  11. Madison Hills University
  12. Kennedy University
  13. Nelson Bay University
  14. Arab Women University
  15. Grant Town University
  16. Barkley University
  17. Ester University
  18. McKinley University
  19. Columbiana University
  20. Fort Jones University
  21. American Gulf University
  22. Rochville University
  23. Payne Springs University
  24. Wilford University
  25. Al Khalifa American University
  26. Anchor Point University
  27. Arab International University
  28. Bay City University
  29. Creek View University
  30. Harvey University
  31. Kingsbridge University
  32. Mayfield University
  33. Midtown University
  34. Must University
  35. North East Alabama University
  36. Pine Hill University
  37. Ray University
  38. Retail Online University
  39. Riverbanks University
  40. SalterUniversity
  41. West Land University
  42. Wiley University
  43. Cambell State University
  44. Chamon Institute of Arts and Technology
  45. Thompson University

 

Conclusion

Most “shortcuts” are too good to be true and most likely are frauds. But just incase you are not convinced that this “too good to be true” offer is actually a fake, the following may give you some insight.

As per this blog on voanews.com :

So, how do you know if the school you’re looking into is properly accredited?

1) They’re a well-known college or university, are listed in a respected ranking like the U.S. News and World Report ranking of best colleges, or were recommended to you by EducationUSA

2) They have a .edu web address (this is specifically for colleges in the US that have a campus but most legitimate ones do anyway)

3) They are accredited by one of the 6 regional accrediting agencies (and their various subdivisions) OR by another accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or CHEA

as per the blog you are reading, if it still seem’s like it’s legitimate just follow this :

  1. Google “University name” fraud or “University name” fake and read up on the results
  2. Find out from LinkedIn or Facebook if any (credible) alumni is available. Maybe connect or talk to them
  3. Do a Whois.net search on the domain name. If the domain is registered fairly recently, chances are it’s a fake.
  4. Ask a friend. sometimes a friend or well wisher is going to give you better advice than any Google search.

 

 

79 thoughts on “Are advertised online distant learning programs legitimate?

  • July 26, 2014 at 6:52 pm
    Permalink

    Hi,
    you have mentioned several non-legitimate institutions, and I’m sure there is a new one every time there is an opportunity.
    My question is regarding a new name Paramount California University, they have a .edu domain registered in 2007 exp 2015, although when doing whois.net search they have several different locations on the same IP. There is now mention of Fraud or Scam in their name in Google, but it seems suspicious do you have any information about them?

    Thanks

    • August 9, 2014 at 2:47 pm
      Permalink

      hi sorry for the late reply. I haven’t had a steady net connection so wasn’t able to look at the posts. I haven’t heard of this. If I find something I will give you a shout.

  • July 18, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    Permalink

    Beware of their very recent University too – http://www.glenforduniversity.com/ – they will tell you it was established in the 1970s but the website was created only in Feb 2014.

    They will use aliases of American names and will try to mimic a native speaker’s accent but will squeak in between. They use an internet calling number +1(777) 2790608 which is a well-known scam if you Google it. They will later try calling you with numbers beginning in +7 and +8, will even attempt using multiple local numbers of the country of residence of their current victim.

    Just to piss them off if they happen to read this, that Alex Grey and Dr. Waren Kyle who are supposed to be advisers need to go to grammar school first before they start advising. They have a staff named Mark Ja(i)son who is supposed to be from the legalization department who will itch for more money and try to ask you to pay more just to get an attestation of a fake certificate.

    Spreading their names will be useless because they will change their website anytime soon and will probably randomly select another land address like the one they recently used – Glenford University, 38 W 32nd St, New York City, NY 10001 – a dilapidated bldg in a Korean Town, NYC.

    • August 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm
      Permalink

      hi. thanks for the info. yes they are part of the same group. you can check their accreditation page and see the same bogus logos.

    • July 9, 2015 at 9:10 am
      Permalink

      I agree with you in the accreditation part. However, they do have respectable programs and courses with more than enough material and references that i completed myself with propoer assesment. The assesment method is just like other accredited online colleges (i.e. Washington University). The conclusion is that i do recommend it for post BS degrees and diplomas, but definately not for BS degree after high school.

  • June 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm
    Permalink

    hello sir,i have a clearence can you help me please.once i got a call from a personal of thompson university (he says)…and i was almost to join..but somthing blocked me…but eventhough i have sent them my home address…will there be any problem if they have my complete address? i have given them my house name,country name,state name,and postal index…is there any problem?

  • April 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm
    Permalink

    Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very nice post.

  • April 21, 2014 at 12:17 pm
    Permalink

    from http://www.recogniseddegree.com/value-of-a-college-degree/
    I didn’t validate any of these personally but many of them seem to be dodgy just by name and some are included in my list anyway.

    List of Diploma Mills or Unaccredited Institutions

    Académie Européene d’Informatisation, Belgium
    Academy of Natural Therapies, formerly in Hawaii until closed by court order; may have reopened in Wyoming or Montana
    Academy of Religious & Spiritual Studies
    Adam Smith University, Liberia; Saipan
    Addison State University, Ottawa, Canada; “has no Ontario authorization to issue degrees”
    Akamai University
    All Saints American University, Liberia
    Almeda University
    Ambassador University Corporation
    American Bible College University, Arizona
    American Central University, Wyoming
    American Century University, New Mexico; formerly known as Century University
    American City University
    American Coastline University[9] formerly operated from mailbox rental services in Hawaii and Louisiana; was owned by Dr Richard Hoyer
    American College of Metaphysical Theology, Golden Valley, Minnesota
    American Global University
    American National University
    American Pacwest International University
    American School of Metaphysics, New York
    American State University (Hawaii) (aka Hamilton University and Richardson University)
    American University in London
    American University of London
    American University of Hawaii Gulfport, Mississippi; Clinton, Mississippi; (also reported to be operating in India; not to be confused with the University of Hawaii))
    American University of Human Services, Mississippi. Reported closed as of 2007.
    American University of Mayonic Science and Technology
    American World University
    Americus University
    Ames Christian University, Florida
    Anacrusis Institute, Greece and United Kingdom
    Andersonville Theological Seminary, Camilla, Georgia
    Apostolic Prophetic Bible College & Theological Seminary, Rochester Hills, Michigan
    Ashford University, United Kingdom; not to be confused with the accredited Ashford University in Iowa
    Ashwood University
    Aston University, Nigeria (relationship with Aston University in the UK is not clear)
    Atlanta University, Nigeria (not be confused with Clark Atlanta University or the University of Atlanta)
    Atlantic International University, located in Hawaii or Nigeria

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree .

    Badaganvi Sarkar World Open University Education Society, Gokak, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
    Barber-Scotia College (lost accreditation in 2004)
    Barrington University, Mobile, Alabama (formerly operated by Virtual Academics.Com of Boca Raton, Florida)
    Belford University(operated from a PO Box in Humble, Texas; not to be confused with the University of Bedford which is linked to University Degree Program)
    Beloved Community Seminary, Oregon, Hawaii
    Bennington University (not to be confused with Bennington College)
    Berne University(not to be confused with University of Bern)
    Bettis Christian University, Arkansas
    B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, Arlington, Texas
    The Bible Doctrine Institute, Jacksonville, Florida; founded in 1986 as The Blue Ridge Bible Institute
    Bienville University, Woodville, Mississippi. Reported closed as of 2007.
    Bircham International University(formerly Oxford International University)
    Blackpool University
    Blacksmith University, Nigeria
    Brethren Bible Institute, Pathanamthitta, India
    Breyer State University
    Bridgewater University (associated with instantdegrees.com; not to be confused with Bridgewater College)
    Britain College of Management and Science
    British West Indies Medical College (earlier known as West Indies College of Naturopathic Medicine and Surgery)
    Bronte International University
    Buxton University (not to be confused with the University of Derby’s Buxton campus) (Connected with instantdegrees.com)

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Calamus International University (including Calamus Extension College and Vocalist International Distance Learning Academy), Vanuatu (formerly based in Turks and Caicos)
    California Graduate School of Theology
    Calvary Baptist Bible College, King, North Carolina
    Calvary Chapel Bible College (This institution’s website states: “We are not accredited, nor are we seeking accreditation, so as to be free from outside control and remain open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.”)
    Cal Southern University, Houston, Texas, and registered in the South Pacific island of Niue (Not to be confused with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, California Southern University in Irvine, California, or California Southern Law School in Riverside, California.)
    Cambridge State University, Jackson, Mississippi (“district officials discovered the school has an extensive criminal history and is nothing more than a diploma mill.”)
    Canbourne University(not to be confused with Camborne School of Mines)
    Canby Bible College, Canby, Oregon, formerly Leadership Training Institute (Oregon’s Office of Degree Authorization lists this institution as “unaccredited religious exempt school”)
    Canterbury University (Seychelles)
    Canyon College
    Capital City Religious Institute, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Carlingford University, scam run by a prison inmate in Wisconsin; shut down in 2010.The name previously was identified with an address in London, and with theUniversity Degree Program
    Carolina University of Theology, Manassas, Virginia (Website states that school is accredited by Accrediting Commission International but notes “This accreditation is not recognized by the US Dept. of Education. It is our intention in the months ahead to pursue a full accredited status with an agency recognized by the US Dept. of Education.”)
    Chadwick University, Alabama
    Charis School of Divinity, Florida
    Chase University
    Christ Alive Christian Seminary and University, Nigeria
    Christ For The Nations Institute
    Christian Leadership University, New York
    Christian Bible College, Rocky Mount, North Carolina
    Christians of Charity American University of Sci. and Tech., Nigeria
    Clarksville School of Theology, Clarksville, Tennessee; shut down in 1982
    Clayton College of Natural Health (same operator as Chadwick University) (in Alabama)
    Clayton Theological Institute, California
    Clayton University, Hong Kong
    Colton University
    Columbia Pacific University
    Columbia State University
    Columbus University, Picayune, Mississippi (Closed by state action in Louisiana)
    Collumbus University, UK or Nigeria
    Commonwealth Open University (Virgin Islands; not to be confused with Commonwealth Institute)
    Communion of Saints Seminary, Oregon
    Concordia College and University
    Concordia Theologica Institute For Biblical Studies
    Cranmer Theological House, Louisiana; Texas
    Crescent City Christian College, Metairie, Louisiana, (“basically a coach’s house — no campus, no facilities, no faculty, no library that anyone could discover”)
    Crown College, Tennessee
    Crown College, Tacoma, Washington, (lost accreditation in 2007)

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Delta International University of New Orleans
    Dispensational Theological Seminary Forest Grove, Oregon (Oregon’s Office of Degree Authorization lists this institution as an unaccredited religious exempt school)
    Donsbach University (or Donsback University)
    Dorcas University, Honolulu, Hawaii
    Dublin Metropolitan University

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Earlscroft University
    Eastern Caribbean University, Texas; St. Kitts, Virgin Islands
    Ecole supérieure Robert de Sorbon, France; also linked to the American Universities Admission Program in Sarasota, Florida, which was sued in 2006 for allegedly using the logo of the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers to deceive prospective students. (The school’s website—www.sorbon.fr—disputes the allegation of being a diploma mill.)
    Ellington University
    Eternity Bible College
    European Open University Not to be confused with the European Open Universities Network at European Association of Distance Teaching Universities
    European Union University, Madrid, Spain (but incorporated in the U.S. state of Iowa)

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Fairfax University
    Faith Seminary – Salem, formerly Oregon Theological Seminary (Oregon’s Office of Degree Authorization lists this institution as unaccredited religious exempt school)[53]
    Farington University
    Florida State Christian College, Florida
    Frederick Taylor International University, Hawaii; California
    Frederick Taylor University, California
    Friends International Christian University, Florida; California. Website states, “FICU is not accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education.”
    Full Gospel Christian College, Pontiac, Michigan

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith
    Generale University also called Generale Polytechnic Institute
    Geo-Metaphysical Institute, New York
    George Wythe College, Cedar City, Utah
    Georgia Christian University, Norcross, Georgia
    Glencullen University (“A phony ‘Irish university’ is marketing degrees internationally via the Internet. An EL reporter in the US, posing as a prospective student, has been offered an English literature degree from ‘Glencullen University’, without any study, for $960.”)
    Glendale University (previously called Glenndale University)
    Glenford University in Mississippi. Reported closed as of 2007.
    Global Church Theological Seminary and Global Church University
    Golden State School of Theology(Stockton, California)
    Golden State Baptist College, Santa Clara, California. Part of Independent Baptist Bible College Movement, listed among Wikipedia category Unaccredited Christian colleges and universities.
    Golden State University, Mississippi
    Greenwich University (Operated on Norfolk Island from 1998 to 2002. Not to be confused with University of Greenwich, London, England)

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Hamilton University (aka American State University and Richardson University)
    Heartland Baptist Bible College, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The School’s website states that they “seek no national or regional accreditation, but seeks only God’s approval.”
    Holy Trinity College and Seminary, New Port Richey, Florida; Seminary’s website notes its choice to remain unaccredited and states, “the degree programs of this college are designed solely for religious vocations.”
    Honolulu University (aka Honolulu University of the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities)
    Houdegbe North American University, Nigeria
    Hubbard College of Administration International, Los Angeles, California
    Huntington Pacific University
    Hyles-Anderson College and Hyles-Anderson College Seminary, Crown Point, Indiana. Part of Independent Baptist Bible College Movement. Founder asserted that the college remains unaccredited because the government would “take away our freedom.”

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Illinois Theological Seminary Online, also named In-Depth Theological Seminary, Independent Theological Seminary and Intercontinental Theological Seminary.School states: “ITS is not an accredited school with any accreditation board. ITS very much cherishes…the principle of separation between Church and State.”
    Intercontinental University
    Interfaith Seminary, formerly Interfaith School of Theology, New Rochelle, New York (Institution’s website says: “As a religious Seminary the Interfaith Seminary is not accredited by an [sic] government agency.”)
    International American University, California; Nepal
    International Bible University, Norwalk, California; Carpinteria, California; Hawaii. Also called “E M International Bible University” or “E.M.I. Bible University.”
    International Seminary, Plymouth, Florida
    International Theological University California
    The International University, Missouri or Nigeria
    International University for Graduate Studies St. Kitts and Nevis
    International University of Ministry and Education, Grandview, Missouri
    International University, Vienna (an American unaccredited private institution with a campus in Vienna, Austria)
    IOND University, Hawaii; Japan
    Irish International University
    Islamic University of Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    James Monroe University (also called James Monroe International University)
    Jacksonville Theological Seminary, Southaven, Mississippi

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Kennedy-Western University
    Kensington University
    Kent College, Louisiana
    Kentucky Christian University, Ashland, Kentucky (not to be confused with Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Kentucky, which is accredited)
    Kingston College, British Columbia; illegal operation closed down October 4, 2006; not to be confused with Kingston College (England) in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England
    Knightsbridge University
    Knoxville College (lost accreditation in 1996)

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Lacrosse University Reported closed as of 2007.
    LaSalle University (Louisiana) (not to be confused with La Salle University (Philadelphia), nor with The LaSalle Extension University (Chicago))
    Leadway University, Nigeria
    Life Christian University, Tampa, Florida
    Lobi Business School, Nigeria
    London College of Technology and Business
    London External Studies, UK or Nigeria
    Louisiana Baptist University (formerly Baptist Christian University), founded in 1973 by Jimmy G. Tharpe
    Louisiana Christian University, Lake Charles, Louisiana
    Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Madison University, Gulfport, Mississippi
    Maharana Patap Shiksha Niketan Vishwavidyalaya, Pratapgarh, India
    Mahila Gram Vidyapith, Prayag, Allahabad, India
    Maithili University/Vishwavidyalaya, Darbhanga, Bihar, India
    Management Institute of Canada
    Master’s International School of Divinity, Evansville, Indiana (Oregon’s Office of Degree Authorization lists this institution as “unaccredited religious exempt school”)
    Metropolitan Collegiate Institute (associated with the fake teaching hospital Sussex General Hospital, both purportedly in London)
    Metro University, Nigeria
    Miami Christian University, Miami, Florida
    Mississippi International University
    Monticello University
    Morris Brown College (lost accreditation in 2002)
    Mountain States Baptist College, Montana.Part of Independent Baptist Bible College Movement.

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    National University of Nigeria
    Nations University, Monroe, Louisiana
    New Tribes Bible Institute, Jackson, Michigan; Waukesha, Wisconsin
    New West Seminary Oregon City, Oregon, (Oregon’s Office of Degree Authorization lists this institution as unaccredited religious exempt school)
    Nightingale University, Panama City, Panama; Melbourne, Australia
    North Central University, Nigeria
    North American Reformed Seminary, Flagstaff, Arizona
    Novus University or Novus University International, Diamondhead, Mississippi

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Oaklands University, United Kingdom.May be “a new version of the University Degree Program.”
    Ohio Christian College
    Open International University, Nigeria
    Oregon College of Ministry, Gresham, Oregon (Oregon’s Office of Degree Authorization lists this institution as unaccredited religious exempt school)

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Pacific International University, Springfield, Missouri; originally was located in Victoria, Australia
    Pacific National University and Theological Institute, Los Angeles, California
    Pacific Southern University
    Patriot Bible University (formerly Patriot University, Colorado; claims that its accreditation is by American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions, which is an unrecognized agency deemed to be an accreditation mill)
    Paul Quinn College (Lost accreditation in 2009)
    Pebbles University, Nigeria
    Pensacola Bible Institute
    Pensacola Christian College
    Portland Bible College Portland, Oregon (Oregon’s Office of Degree Authorization lists this institution as unaccredited religious exempt school)
    Preston University (aka Fairmount International University)
    Preston University Pakistan
    Promis University of London

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Queenston University, Utah, Vanuatu, and Australia
    Raja Arabic University, Nagpur, India
    Redding University
    Regent International University (not to be confused with the accredited Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia)
    Rev. D. O. Ockiya College of Theology and Management Sciences, Nigeria (lack of accreditation affects only its degree-awarding programmes)
    Richmond Open University, Nigeria
    Rochville University (not to be confused with La Rochville University, an accredited university in France)
    Royal University Izhia, Nigeria
    Rushmore University
    Rutherford University (previously known as Senior University and Stratford International University)

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Saint Augustines University of Technology, Nigeria
    St. Clements University (Called a “degree mill” by the State of Maine, but removed from list after a formal action taken by St. Clements University.)
    St Johns University School of Medicine, Montserrat
    Saint Luke School of Medicine, Liberia; California; Ghana
    Saint Martin’s College and Seminary, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
    St. Paul’s College & Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota
    St. Regis University, Dominica; Liberia; Washington D.C.; and Washington (closed by court order in June 2005)(not to be confused with Regis Universityin Denver, which is accredited)
    Saint Stephen’s Educational Bible College, Los Angeles, California
    St. Thomas-a-Becket College & University, Canterbury, England
    Saint Wolbodo Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland
    Sacramento International University, (also called San Francisco International University, and Bellington University)
    Samuel Ahmadu University, Nigeria
    Sancta Sophia Seminary, Oklahoma. Claims “accreditation” by the Accrediting Commission International for Schools, Colleges, and Theological Seminaries, Inc., anunrecognized accreditation agency.
    Sequoia University, Los Angeles and Oklahoma. Closed by court order in 1984.
    South California Polytechnic University, Taiwan
    South Pacific University
    Springfield Christian College and Theological Seminary
    Stanton University
    Strategic Business School, Nigeria
    Success Seminary, Oregon
    Suffield University; operating illegally in Connecticut
    Summerset University (“Appears to be a new version of the “University Degree Program” cluster supposedly closed by UK and US action. It has no legal authority to issue degrees.”)
    Sunday Adokpela University, Nigeria

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Tennessee Christian University, Tennessee
    Texas Christian Bible University, Crowley, Texas
    Texas Theological University, Texas
    Thomas Jefferson Education Foundation
    Thompson University
    Tiu International University, UK and Nigeria
    Thunderwood College, Internet only, an admitted spoof website for an unaccredited college which offers instant “degrees” in a variety of subjects.
    Tri-Valley University, Pleasonton, California, raided by ICE for allegedly operating as a front for illegal immigration.
    Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana. (“Trinity is currently working towards accreditation with a U.S. Department of Education (USDE) recognized agency for all of its programs.” (Accessed August 18, 2010))
    Trinity College and University
    Trinity Southern University (See: Colby Nolan)
    Tyndale Theological Seminary, Texas.In 1999, Tyndale Theological Seminary was fined for violating a state law that required institutions to have state approval or accreditation to award degrees or use terms such as “college” or “university” in their names. The fine was appealed, and in August 2007 the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Tyndale and other seminaries that offer theological education and award religious degrees can do so without state government approval or accreditation.

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    UNESCO University, Nigeria
    United Christian University, Nigeria
    United Nations University, Delhi, India (not to be confused with United Nations University)
    United Nigeria University College
    Universal Bible Institute, Birmingham, Alabama
    Universal University
    Université de Wallis (lists addresses in Wallis and Futuna and United Kingdom)
    University Consulting, Inc.
    University Degree Program (formerly operated at least 28 different diploma mills in at least five countries)
    University of Applied Sciences & Management in Benin and Nigeria
    University of Berkley, Erie County, Pennsylvania
    University of Beverly Hills, California
    University of Central Europe, Pascagoula, Mississippi,Reported closed as of 2007.
    University of Esoterica (Institution website states: “We are not accredited by any state agency, and don’t want to be…due to entanglements and Separation of Church and State.”
    University of Fairfax
    University of the Holy Land, Israel
    University of Industry, Nigeria
    University of Lamberhurs
    University of Metaphysical Sciences
    University of Metaphysical Studies, New Mexico
    University of Metaphysics, Studio City, California, and Sedona, Arizona. Also called University of Sedona
    University of the Nations
    University of Natural Health, Brandon, Mississippi
    University of North America
    University of Northern Virginia
    University of Northern Washington
    University of NorthWest
    University of Santa Monica, also known as Kohenor University
    University of Sedona, Studio City, California, and Sedona, Arizona. Alternative name for University of Metaphysics
    Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya, India

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Vancouver University Worldwide
    Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya
    Vision International University
    Volta University College in Ghana and Nigeria

    Beware: These have no value of a college degree.

    Warnborough College, Ireland
    Warren National University
    Washington International University, Pennsylvania British Virgin Islands
    Washington School of Theology, Oregon
    West Coast Baptist College, Lancaster, California. Website states: “[I]t is not our intention to [pursue accreditation].”
    West Coast University of Panama, Bangladesh
    Western Michigan Bible Institute, Muskegon, Michigan
    Weston Reserve University
    Wisconsin International University, Florida, Ghana (Wisconsin International University College has National Accreditation Board accreditation in Ghana as a university college affiliated with the University of Ghana and University of Cape Coast), Ukraine and other locations, now using the name Worldwide International University
    Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary, Washington
    Worchester University, Panama
    World Information Distributed University, Russia; Belgium; Switzerland
    Worldwide International University, new name of Wisconsin International University

    Don’t dare to get a degree from these diploma mills. They are of no value of a college degree.

  • April 20, 2014 at 10:16 pm
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  • April 10, 2014 at 11:22 am
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    Hi this is Syed , yesterday i saw one website on internet which is offering (PHD)
    degree through the Work Experience – VAE procedure.
    Ecole Superieure Robert De Sorbon
    I want to know this website is fake or genuine.
    http://sorbon.fr/inscriptionengl.html
    If we Get this degree can we to attestation for this degree in French Embassy, Bahrain OR Indian Embassy.
    I have got some document from this website so, check the attached document for your verification.

    Its mentioned in it website that they will send UNESCO-CEPES Diploma.

    So please check it and inform me, whether it is Legal or Illegal.
    ———————————————-
    That website address and details are mentioned below:
    http://sorbon.fr/inscriptionengl.html
    http://sorbon.fr/inscriptionengl.html
    http://sorbon.fr/history.html

    Mailing Address:
    Ecole Supérieure
    Robert de Sorbon
    CADEX
    8, rue Jacquard
    54500 Vandoeuvre Les Nancy
    FRANCE
    Email: sorbon@sorbon.fr
    tel:+33172770043
    fax:+33153013315
    Thank You.
    Waiting for your reply..
    Syed Farhan
    00973 39981446
    Kingdom of Bahrain.

    • April 16, 2014 at 11:53 am
      Permalink

      I had a thorough check on the website

      domain is from 2004 so it can be legitimate.

      it claims to have EAIE membership, but the EAIE site mentions that institutions and organizations cannot become members. QA below. Further more the link mentioned in the site claiming membership doesn’t exist anymore.

      Can I apply for institutional membership to the EAIE?
      No, institutions and organisations cannot become members of the EAIE. Membership is individual and personal.

      A quick google also found the following website/forum – http://www.degreeinfo.com/general-distance-learning-discussions/29690-sorbon-fr-what-do-you-guys-think-2.html

      They better have a good lawyer as the government of Denmark also tags them as a “Degree mill”

      http://www.ciriusonline.dk/Admin/Pub…loma_mills.pdf

      In summary, given the facts:

      -Sorbon is classified as a degree mill by the stats of Oregon and Maine in the United States and the minister of Science in Denmark.

      -Sorbon has the right to grant private certificates that are tagged as PhD or Masters only because PhDs and Masters have no meaning in the French education system. This is the same as if I open a private school with no University word in the school name in California and decide to grant certificates with the name “Doctoraatstitel” (PhD in dutch) as this technically does not violate the law as they are not protected degree names in the state of California.

      -Sorbon has managed to stay 5 years in business as they pay their taxes and don’t violate any French law and there are people willing to pay money for a expensive piece of paper.

      another from the same site – http://www.degreeinfo.com/general-distance-learning-discussions/30734-threat-week-ecole-superieure-robert-de-sorbon.html – apparently a threat! Fishy indeed!!….

      There are other sites and other forums that may be FOR it…But my advice is to AVOID it…

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  • March 16, 2014 at 3:35 pm
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    Great list…I recently got conned by Hill University and now have a degree that is not worth the paper it is written on!!

    • March 16, 2014 at 10:22 pm
      Permalink

      Can you give some details so i can update the blog accordingly.

      How did you first learn about it
      university website without the link

      Maybe send me a scanned copy of the degree. You realname and any other info will be blurred out when posted.

      thanks

  • March 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm
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    Hi!

    many thanks for this!

    i almost got suckered by this scam today. i was about to enroll to this “pittsford university” then i tried to search if it’s legit or not.

    all of your points was correct, starting from their advertisement, their “today only” discounts, to the endless phone calls trying to convince me.

    someone named jacob webber keeps calling me regarding my registration saying hes the head of student advisory.

    anyway, i hope people like me, looking to continue my studies, read your blog before trying out any online courses out there.

    and if may i ask, do you know any legit online course?

    many thanks!

    • March 14, 2014 at 12:07 am
      Permalink

      I’ve added many more universities to watch out for. I also learned from some forum that all of these might be operated by a man named Salem Kureshi in Pakistan who was found to have made millions on fake degrees.

      Belforduniversity website is no longer there and rochvilleuniversity.org (which is also in a similar lawsuit) is also from DNC Holdings. Surprise Surprise.

      rochvilleuniversity.org registry whois
      Updated 1 second ago – Refresh

      Domain ID: D98327784-LROR
      Creation Date: 2003-07-09T04:51:28Z
      Updated Date: 2014-01-08T15:58:24Z
      Registry Expiry Date: 2014-07-09T04:51:28Z
      Sponsoring Registrar:DNC Holdings, Inc. (R48-LROR)
      Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 291
      WHOIS Server:
      Referral URL:
      Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited
      Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
      Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited
      Registrant ID:1606291
      Registrant Name:Domain Name Proxy Service, Inc Direct Privacy ID 9A32D
      Registrant Organization:Direct Privacy ID 9A32D
      Registrant Street: P.O. Box 6592
      Registrant City:Metairie
      Registrant State/Province:LA
      Registrant Postal Code:70009
      Registrant Country:US
      Registrant Phone:+1.15043550082
      Registrant Phone Ext:
      Registrant Fax:
      Registrant Fax Ext:

      From Wikipedia ->

      Belford University was an organization that offered online unaccredited degrees for “life experience”. The organization maintained a post office box in Humble, Texas, but its certificates were mailed from the United Arab Emirates.[1]

      On August 31, 2012, Belford University was shut down and its founder, Salem Kureshi, had been “ordered to pay $22.7 million in damages”.[2] “The judgment established the truth of allegations that Belford High School and Belford University are fake schools that do not actually exist.”[3] Court documents from “McClusley v. Belford University” revealed that Belford University was run by 30-year old Salem Kureshi from his apartment in Karachi, Pakistan.[4][5] The court found that Kureshi “operates a sophisticated internet ripoff scheme through various websites, which falsely represent the existence of an accredited and legitimate high school, whose diplomas will be widely accepted by employers, professional associations, other schools, colleges and universities.”[6] Kureshi has created 44 online universities and more than 100 promotional websites. “With an inkjet printer, a Microsoft Word template, and a few cheap websites, Kureshi became an overnight millionaire.”[7] He earns over $70 million per year “selling fake diplomas.”[8] He is currently involved in a class action lawsuit over his involvement with Rochville University.[9] Although a U.S. District Court ordered its website to be shut down, as of February 25, 2013, Belford University continues to operate from an alternate website address.[10]

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