Department Of Education Targets Online Bachelor's Degree Fraud

In response to alarming data compiled by the United States Department of Education, agents of the government announced last Monday that steps would be taken to prevent students applying to internet based institutions of higher learning from abusing the federal financial aid program for mercenary purposes. These schools, many of them newly accredited by regional academic officials only tangentially connected with the national scholastic authorities, have skyrocketed in popularity throughout the past decade as thousands of men and women getting a degree online flock to the decreased costs and malleable course designs. The innovative approach to remote learning has certainly enlivened a United States educational system badly in need of substantive change, and, whether to broaden the reach of their academic vision or to merely reduce spiraling instructional costs otherwise threatening to price poorer Americans out of the diploma hunt, traditional institutions ranging from community colleges to legendary universities have begun cultivating their own online Bachelor's degree curriculum.

However, any rapidly burgeoning industry must brave the infestation of predators searching out their own easy money, and some of the very same advantages for students getting a degree online have proven to be equally worrisome dangers for the country. As the Dept. of Education report recently illustrated, digitized campuses have become stalking grounds for a newly originated con that bleeds federal funds by means of enrolling virtual students within online Associate's degree or online Bachelor's degree programs to collect aid money. While the men and women who willingly participate in the charade would owe the loan balances regardless of whether or not the deception was unearthed those prosecuted for defrauding the government owing quite a bit more, of course the ideal prospects sought out by the scam's ringleaders would necessarily be near destitute to meet the financial aid qualifying criteria standards for approval, and they've been apparently delighted to surrender their identities for manipulation despite the relatively minimal amount of money to be obtained.

Since the students aren't actually getting a degree online, they'll only receive monetary support for the first semester, and, even then, the government will divert a portion of the funds to the school for tuition and various fees. All told, the Department of Education figures estimated the approximate proceeds to average about five thousand dollars (representing funds intended to help full time online Bachelor's degree candidates afford books and costs of living), but the sheer scale of the operations has potentially stolen millions from the government. As a partial remedy, Department of Education officials intend to accentuate the liability for academic institutions that knowingly facilitate criminal fraudulence and the misappropriation of government funds, but greater efforts may be in order.

Although cyber scholastic authorities maintain that administrative zeal meant to encourage applicants' requests for federal grants remains common practice for financial aid counselors at old fashioned colleges and universities around the nation, it's patently obvious that the people getting a degree online present considerably different challenges and unanticipated difficulties for the financial structure propelling higher education. As well, critics of the existing governmental system of distributing academic subsidies have argued for some time that a more exacting method of scrutiny must be employed to prevent any faux pupils hoping to exploit the system from successfully siphoning funds away from actual (offline or online) Bachelor's degree candidates.

Continuing Education Choices

What is continuing education? It is usually defined as courses that are taken after a degree or without the purpose of receiving a degree. But the best way to describe continuing education is to give examples of what it is and is not. Here are some examples to help make the continuing education picture a little clearer:

Community education courses: Often cities or counties will offer adult education courses that teach things like art, basic computer skills, and even language courses. These classes usually do not meet more than a few weeks, but you can often take a series of courses that build on each other. The instructors of community continuing education courses are usually people from the community who have a particular area of expertise or professional knowledge to share. These courses are usually not very expensive. GED courses and ESL courses are not included in this group.

Colleges and Universities: Although you may not think of these places for non-degree courses, many colleges and universities do offer continuing education courses to update graduates' professional knowledge or just for personal growth. Some courses can even include both degree and non-degree seeking students in the same class. To find out about these courses you should contact the school's continuing education department directly or online. Usually you will have to pay a reduced tuition for the course.

Professional Groups and Organizations: If you belong to a professional organization which requires you to update your training and skills, they will often offer workshops, conferences, and other training opportunities for their members and this is considered continuing education.

Personal Development: Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have things about us that we may not like. Whether we want to improve our communication skills, our memory, our relationship skills, or negotiating skills, or any other area of our lives we may at one time or another seek outside help. If you are interested in this type of self-improvement you can find courses online or in your community and even at some colleges to help you. Know that you will need to plan out your course of action and follow it.

It does not matter if your search for more education is for personal or professional reasons, the fact is that there are resources out there to help you. Whether you go online, or to your community center, to your professional peers, or to a college or university, more knowledge is more power.