Check your varsity

Pick and choose

Dreaming of studying in US? You better take your own precautions regarding the universities you are applying to. An audit arm of the US government recently slammed the weak regulatory mechanism in US failing to stop fraud varsities from attracting foreign students. 

US remains the most-preferred foreign destination for Delhi students, boasting of many of the world’s top universities. Over 1,00,000 Indian students joined US varsities in 2011. However, incidents of students getting trapped in fraudulent universities are rising. 

Last year, California’s Tri Valley University was closed down, forcing over a 1000 Indian students there to return home. Now, Herguan University in Sunnyvale, California is under a cloud for visa fra­ud. The careers of 450 Indian students are at risk.

Career counsellors and foreign education agents say that students can take a few precautions. 

Dr George Joseph, director at Infozee Study Abroad, says, “We make sure that we deal with accredited universities only. It’s a difficult task. Sometimes, they show fake accreditation certificates. That is what Tri Valley did and was caught subsequently.

“Besides, if a student is searching for US varsities to study and has a doubt over any particular one, he or she should check the United States - India Educational Foundation (USIEF) list of accredited universities. You can also call them or email.”

Career counsellor Pervin Malhotra adds, “Check if the varsity you have selected figures in the ranking charts of reliable US government and media reports. The higher it figures, the more assured you can be of its ingenuity. Visit its website. See how long the varsity has been in existence, if the courses are recognised and if its placement record is good.

“Also, the SAT, TOEFL, GRE or GMAT scores it demands for admission is a good indicator of the quality of the varsity. If it’s asking for 300 points as compared to 700 demanded by others, it should ring a bell in your head. There are good, bad and indifferent universities existing everywhere, including the US. If you are spending this much money, time and effort to get into a foreign varsity, do a full-proof background check. Not everything American is great!”

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