Buyer Beware: Steer Clear of Zombie Colleges Online

zombie colleges

No, zombie colleges aren’t the ones with the best Halloween parties. The reality is actually much scarier.

Zombie colleges are those that have long ago closed but whose names are being used to recruit new applicants. It’s a scam that prospective college students would be wise to steer clear of.

Head of the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection at Michigan State University, Kari Kammel said these zombie colleges pose the threat of identity theft: “They figured out a way to post something, get students to apply, take application information, take credit card information, take financial aid information.”

Scammers are using the names of former colleges and copying the images from their old websites to make them look like they’re up and running again. Some of the zombie colleges to stay away from include “Stratford University,” “Marymount University California,” “Jones International” and “Morrison University.”

The fraudsters aren’t just collecting student information, but application fees as well. In addition, former students could also be affected. For example, some former Stratford University students say their student loans have yet to be canceled because the school appears to remain open online.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid falling prey to scams like these. The best way to check a college’s legitimacy is to look for its most recent accreditation. By visiting the National Center for Education Statistics online and using the College Navigator tool, you can identify the school’s accrediting agency and find the date of its last accreditation review.

Here at CVO, we strive to keep our readers informed of the latest news in higher education, including recent college closures and any scams affecting prospective students. Check back here for any developments related to colleges and universities in the U.S., plus college rankings, FAQs, and more.

Source: USA Today— Zombie Colleges? These Universities Are Living Another Life Online, And No One Can Say Why

Related: School Closure Notice: Mountain State College