Don’t believe everything you read or hear. This should be the hardworking, determined student’s motto. Scams are becoming a common feature in the online world. It is easy to get misled or deceived by anyone claiming to offer a genuine opportunity to complete a course online. Why can’t this happen with distance nursing programs? It can! The student has to be careful and conduct thorough research about the college or university he or she plans to attend. It is good to be safe than sorry.
Distance programs are good – especially for the one who needs flexible timings or who needs to manage a family, work, and studies; but is it possible for an alert mind to be drawn into this disastrous net of scams? Yes, of course. How do we identify if the program is a fake one or not?
Brochures, program outline, syllabus, etc. should not mislead you and it’s only your eye for detail that can save your neck. One of the first things that you should do is to research the claims. The claim could be anything from a well-established physical location to an accreditation with a very well known university or a promotional offer for a low-cost education package. The mantra is just this – don’t believe all that you read. Appearances can be very deceptive. The way that the program is marketed may entice and blind you into registering for the course no sooner than you have completed reading it; but hold on to your reins! There’s more to it than meets the eye. Verify the information that you read.
Confirm the Address
Another important thing that you can consider is calling up the contact number (if any), and ask for the physical location and address so that you can meet the officials in person and discuss the program in detail. If you do get an address, verify it. Go to a directory of Yellow Pages or call a local helpline to verify the address. You may also contact BBB’s branch for online companies to verify the establishment or if there are any complaints against the institution, if it exists.
Check the Phone Number
If you hear an answering machine or if you hear a message stating that the number is disconnected or not in use when you call up the number provided, consider some other university or opportunity.
Is the Institution Well-Established?
You would also need to verify and confirm the details of the institution’s establishment – how long it has been in the business, etc. A well-established institution would mean better educational prospects. Ask if the instructors are qualified and credible. Is the institution really accredited? You could ask the university to which they claim accreditation and verify the claim.
Beware of the ‘low cost’ marketing gimmick. People are attracted to anything on the market that is advertised as low cost. Online programs that cost unusually less should raise eyebrows. Compare with other providers and check for the rates.
Remember, if you take some time to research the program and identify if it is a fake or a scam program, you’ll be the one to benefit.