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Your Destination for Higher Education

Scam City - Wading Through the Online Degree Maze

Many people become victims to online scams every year. Even in the field of education, you have to be careful because some courses are not what they seem. Online degree scams are common, but there are ways to protect yourself and your money.

It is understandable that students sometimes fall for online scams. The people behind this illegal practice know how to make their websites look convincing. Here are some tips to help you to know the difference between genuine online degrees and the fake ones.

Looking at Some Online Scams

Education scams have existed for many years, but the Internet made it easier to carry out this type of crime. Here are a few examples of some types of online education scams in recent times:

  1. After a child died following poor advice, the doctor, Laurence Perry was investigated. It was found that he purchased his diplomas from fake online schools.
  2. Dixie and Steven Randock were convicted of selling thousands of bogus online degrees. They also created fake degrees in the names of legitimate universities.
  3. As part of an undercover operation in 2005, the US Secret Service bought degrees from James Monroe University. The agency had concerns that terrorists could use fake diplomas to get jobs in the US.

Many other cases of diploma mills have been reported over the years.  These fake schools take advantage of people who want degrees to help them to get better jobs or move up in their jobs. Unfortunately, some people are aware that the degrees are virtually useless, but a large number of people are unaware. They only find out that the degrees are useless when they try to get a job or get into another degree program elsewhere.

How to Spot Scams

Diploma mills give real online schools a bad name, as they make some people overly cautious about online degrees. However, if you take the time to check, you will be able to spot the signs that an online school is a scam. Also, doing your own research is important when considering attending an online school. Some ways to confirm the validity of an online program include:

  • Finding out where the school is based: Many fake online schools are from places like Liberia or The Middle East. If you cannot find the location for a school’s office, then you should avoid it. Any real online school has an office that students can contact and ask questions.
  • Check with local authorities: In many states across the USA, and in many countries, agencies keep a list of accredited online schools. Do not apply to any school that is not on this list.
  • Research the school: You can find many complaints online about fake schools. Check for criminal cases brought against the school or complaints from former students. Real institutions that offer training online will often have some affiliation to a more traditional institution.
  • Look for reviews: Good schools usually get good reviews for the curriculum and quality of teaching. Do not apply to schools that attract many complaints and poor reviews.
  • Avoid the quick and easy: Schools that promise that you can earn your degree very quickly are not to be trusted. Compare their statements to those made by other online schools. Some fake schools make big promises because they know that some people are in a hurry to advance their careers.

The most important thing to remember as someone who wants a college degree is that it is best not to rush things. Take the time to look around and make comparisons of different schools and the programs that they offer. Talk to people who have earned real degrees from online schools.  Remember that your college degree is an investment and you don’t want to throw it away by applying to a fake school.

Sharjah Universities that Receive International Students

Many international students who choose to study at institutions of higher education in the United Arab Emirates attend universities in the emirate of Sharjah. The schools, within an area called University City, are near the cosmopolitan city of Dubai.

Sharjah, which has been called the country’s “cultural capital,” borders the emirate of Dubai on the Arabian Peninsula. The UAE, a federation of seven emirates, boasts a vibrant economy due to the region’s rich reserves of oil and natural gas. Once a tiny town where residents survived by fishing and diving for pearls, the city of Sharjah has grown into a metropolis of nearly a million people.

Studying abroad in Sharjah affords opportunities to explore a foreign land and learn about myriad cultures. The universities’ students and faculty are extremely diverse, representing nations around the world. Courses are taught in English, which is considered the second language in the UAE.

American University of Sharjah

One of the emirate’s larger and more popular institutions for international students is the American University of Sharjah. Founded in 1997 by the nation’s ruler, it is “based upon American institutions of higher education” and “thoroughly grounded in Arab culture,” according to the school’s website. It enrolled 5,400 students (4,700 of whom were undergraduates) in 2013. They represented 82 countries.

AUS is an independent, nonprofit, coeducational university that employs more than 350 full-time academic staffers. Twenty-six majors, 53 minors, and 13 master’s degrees may be pursued in colleges of architecture, art, and design; arts and sciences; engineering; and business administration. The university is renowned as one of the best in the region, as indicated in rankings compiled by Times Higher Education. The school’s picturesque campus has been described as “the jewel of Sharjah.”

University of Sharjah

Another institution in University City has a similar name. The University of Sharjah enrolled 12,448 students (7,994 men and 4,454 women) during the 2013-14 academic year. Among them were 1,168 students from non-Arab nations. The school is widely recognized for its medical campus, which features a hospital, dental clinic, and medical research facilities.

Seventy-five bachelor’s and master’s programs, as well as five doctorate degrees, are available. Colleges, arranged in “domain clusters,” include those dedicated to medicine, health sciences, dental medicine, pharmacology, engineering and science, fine arts and design, and communication and journalism. Other programs are arts, humanities, and social sciences; business, management, and finance; and Shariah and Islamic studies.

The university has educational program agreements with the United States, Canada, England, Japan, and Australia. The faculty consists of educators from numerous nations. International students are encouraged to form and join national clubs, which represent their cultures at the annual UOS Global Day.

Skyline University College

Established in 1990 by the emirate’s ruler, Skyline University College educates and trains students seeking careers in a number of fields. It offers undergraduate degrees in business administration, tourism and travel management, information systems, international business, marketing, and finance. Areas of emphasis in the school’s master of business administration program include marketing, finance, human-resource management, and strategic management and leadership. SUC officials reportedly plan to add a doctorate in business administration.

The university “features state-of-the-art academic and administrative blocks, a sports center, an adequately furnished library, and computer labs,” according to its website. Articulation agreements with colleges in the United States, England, Canada, and several other countries are in place.


Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research is an independent, nonprofit, coeducational school based in the UAE emirate of Abu Dhabi. Its campus in Sharjah, like the others, is focused on preparing students for careers in science. The enrollment at KUSTAR-Sharjah is about 1,300.

The university grew out of the Etisalat College of Engineering, founded in 1989, which had its main campus in Sharjah. The purpose of the school was to educate and train technological employees for the Emirates Communications Corp. By 2012, students on KUSTAR’s campus in Sharjah reflected cultures from many lands. Faculty and staff represented more than 40 countries.

The school provides nine types of undergraduate engineering degrees, as well as five postgraduate programs in the College of Engineering and at the university’s Institute of International & Civil Security. Recently added doctorate specializations concern mechanical, aerospace, nuclear, biomedical engineering, and robotics disciplines. KUSTAR has formed international academic and research partnerships with institutions in the United States and elsewhere.

Higher Colleges of Technology

Sharjah is home to two of the 17 institutions which make up the Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE. At last report, 2,188 women and 763 men were studying and living on separate campuses in University City. About 300 staff members represent more than 25 nations.

Established in 1988, HCT educated more than 18,000 students on its campuses throughout the UAE in 2013. Degrees are rewarded in business, education, engineering technology, computer and information science, applied communications, and health sciences. HCT has formal alliances with educational and training institutions, and corporate partnerships with area and international firms.

Other institutions of higher education in the emirate of Sharjah include the Westford School of Management, the Manchester Management Training facility, the Sharjah Police Academy, the Judicial Studies and Training Institute, the Sharjah Institute of Technology, and the Institute of Nursing. Since its establishment in 1997, University City has become one of the leading educational centers in the Middle East. The site is a 25-minute drive from Dubai International Airport, and 15 minutes from Sharjah International Airport. Bus service is available.

Universities in Sharjah that receive international students facilitate applications for the visas and residency permits the government requires. Visas purchased at airports in Dubai and Sharjah expire in two months, after which residency permits are necessary. The first step is to be accepted by one of the schools, which impose varying admission requirements. Students must possess valid passports to travel to the UAE, and typically have to demonstrate the financial ability to pay for their education.

Analysis of an Issue - a preparatory guide

So you are ready for your GRE exams? A little extra preparation never hurts!

The GRE exam is quite basic and does not demand a lot of professional or advanced level preparation. It has three sections – verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. Of these three, the analytical writing section proves to be quite a challenge as there is no singularly correct method of solving the problem. It tests your deduction, creative and analytical skills to get the best out of you and on to the paper!

The analytical writing section is divided into two parts – “Analysis of an Issue”, and “Analysis of an Argument”. Here, we will only be talking about the former part “Analysis of an Issue”.

What Is Involved In This Section?

This section involves a situation or topic of general interest. You are required to analyze it critically and express your thoughts about the topic. Since the topics can be attempted in an infinite number of ways, it is important to read the instructions carefully and approach the question with the right direction. More often, you will be required to take a stance in favor or against the topic under deliberation and justify your decision with arguments and logical deductions.

How to Attempt?

This section lasts for about 30 minutes. Needless to say, you do not have a lot of time to toil around the topic or try to reattempt the topic if you realize halfway you are not headed on the right course. It is important to divide your time in the best possible manner.

Devote ample time in reading and understanding the problem. Once you have understood what the examiner is looking for, formulate your strategy of answering and jot down the structure briefly. You are now ready to write your essay.
The best way to structure your essay is to give an introduction paragraph followed by at least three reasons to support your choice and a short conclusion. It is important to proof read your essay for possible errors and spelling mistakes in order to improve your scoring chances. If you think you will not have time in the end to reread your essay, try to proofread your article while writing it.

How to Prepare for “Analysis of an Issue”?

There is a list of possible topics given of GRE’s official website that can give you an idea about what to expect in the examination hall. There is no better way to prepare for the test other than practicing on the given topics.
Take time out of your busy schedule to attempt the questions. Make sure you mark the time you spend on a question so you can improve on it and thereby perform better in the actual examination.

A Handful of Helpful Tips

There are a few things you might want to keep in mind while attempting the questions. For instance,

  1. Make sure your essay has a proper focus. You need not beat about the bush. Be clear and straightforward in putting forth your points and reasoning out with the examiner to vote in your favor. Also, make sure your response is relevant to the question being asked. It is easy to lose track while writing about reasons. Make sure you do answer the question that was asked rather than the question you liked to answer!
  2. Keep the organization intact. There should be a continuous flow throughout the essay. Good points put forth in a random order will not be able to create the impact you need to do in order to win the examiner’s heart.
  3. You want the reader to be engaged in the essay. The last thing you need is to put the examiner to sleep while reading your essay. Keep the sentences short and assertive while also using connectors. Make sure you do emphasize your choice at the end of each reason/paragraph.

“Analysis of an Argument” – A Snapshot

Looking for ideas and advice to get you through one of the most difficult parts of the GRE and GMAT – the analytical writing section? Admittedly, this section poses to be quite challenging due to its artistic nature. The realm of writing cannot be restricted. This is one of the main reasons why people may feel intimidated especially by this section.

For GRE the analytical writing section is divided into two broad categories – “Analysis of an Issue” and “Analysis of an Argument”. Here, we will only be talking about the latter – Analysis of an Argument. GMAT writing section comprises of only the “Analysis of Argument” section.

What Does It Contain?

This section aims to test your contemplation, evaluation and analytical skills regarding a topic. You will be provided with a topic – a passage that deliberates on a general concern and creates an argument pertaining to it. In addition to this, you will be provided with instructions about what is expected of you while answering the problem.

You will be required to read the passage, understand what it says and does not say, evaluate its arguments according to your thoughts and come up with a critical answer that assesses its logic and validity. In other words, you will be required to judge the ideas put forth by another writer and justify whether you were convinced by the theory or not.

You will not be provided with any choices regarding the topic you would like to choose. Thus it is best to be prepared for all kinds of questions in this section.

How to Go About Answering This Question?

This first thing you need to do while trying to attempt this question is to understand what is provided to you. This means breaking down the passage into simple, comprehendible and clear sentences. Make sure you identify what is being explicitly stated, what is implied, what is assumed (if at all) and what evidence is used to support the argument. Once you have identified these specific parts, you will automatically understand the passage better and hence be in a better position to evaluate it critically.

Do keep in mind that you have only 30 minutes to attempt this question. So you cannot waste time on unnecessary tasks. You need to be apt at understanding the topic.

In your response, you may be expected to approach the situation from one of the following dimensions.

  1. How the evidence supports the argument? Whether it strengthens it or weakens it.
  2. What are the assumptions in the given passage and how these support or weaken the argument?
  3. Are the recommendations and/or suggestions viable in the light of the argument? You will be required to justify you answer through logical reasoning.
  4. Identify the areas where information is missing and that which would greatly help in making better decisions/recommendations. This may comprise of certain statistical data and/or other critical information regarding the subject.
  5. Predict the outcome of the proposed recommendations and identify whether these will be aligned with the goals or not.
  6. Propose alternative solutions and justify your propositions. Make sure you counter the proposed solutions intelligently.
  7. Identify informational deficiencies and justify how such information can alter the situation in favor of the objective or against it.

This will be explicitly mentioned with the instructions of the passage. Make sure you read these carefully and are absolutely sure of what the examiner is trying to ask before answering the question.
Helpful Tips

There is a list of possible questions given on the GRE & GMAT’s official website. Make sure you go through this list and also try to answer a few of these within the prescribed time limit. This will prepare you for the stress you will be facing while in the examination hall. You stand a better chance of coping with stress if you have been through it previously!

Study Abroad Opportunities for American Students

Whether you just want to spend a few weeks in Europe, or you want to spend the entire year abroad, there are plenty of study abroad programs designed for American students wanting to travel. But first, you must decide how long and when you want to travel. Deciding how long you want to travel and when you want to travel will play a big role in determining which programs you can apply for.

Consider whether you want to earn your whole degree abroad or whether you want to just study abroad for a couple of semesters, or even just a summer. For students just wanting a taste of life abroad, studying abroad for just a summer or semester will afford one the opportunity to have many different experiences without having to face the daunting prospect of moving to a completely different country.

Then you must consider what country you will be going to and what you want to study. The country you choose will have a great effect on what you will be able to study. For instance, students wanting to take an English course abroad would most likely consider studying in the United Kingdom whereas students wanting to take Arabic would likely consider Morocco instead. One important thing to consider when studying abroad is the prospective safety of the country that you will be going to. Like it or not, America may not be liked by the rest of the world. American students wishing to travel abroad are strongly encouraged to check the state department website for travel alerts and warnings related to the countries that they are considering. The State Department issues a travel alert to a specific country when protracted issues within that country make travel to that country unsafe for American citizens.

After considering what you want to study we can then start to consider how you will fund your trip. Typical student abroad costs range from about 3500 USD for a summer program to 30,000 USD for a full year program. Keep in mind that this does not always include items such as airfare or living expenses. Airfare and living expenses often vary greatly depending on the country. For instance, we’ll go back to our Morocco example. The cost of living in Morocco would be significantly less than the cost of living in the United Kingdom, but Morocco does not have many of the conveniences that American students may be used to. In the United Kingdom, tourists and students can get adequate emergency treatment at local hospitals as part of the National Healthcare System. In Morocco most hospitals deliver a substandard level of care and many foreigners prefer private clinics, which are more expensive.

Most study abroad organizations offer special scholarships to American students. Also, one opportunity that American students can take advantage of is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunities Grant (FSEOG). FSEOG is a grant available to poor students that show the most need. However, the requirements for FSEOG are very stringent. Most students will not be able to meet the income requirements and are better off seeking merit-based scholarships with the school or group that they are traveling with.

No matter who you are studying abroad with or where you go, studying abroad can be an awesome experience. At times it is a bit stressful but it can be rewarding, fun, and very challenging. Studying abroad affords you the opportunity to meet new people and take a trip outside your comfort zone. And as Mark Twain once said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Transfer Credit Evaluations

Transfer credit evaluations are complex scenarios, each different according the school’s policies. Transfer credit evaluations come into play when a student transfers schools midyear or decides to enter a bachelor’s degree program after completing an associate’s degree. To make sure that your transfer credit evaluation goes as smoothly as possible, consider the following steps:

1.Check to See if There is An Articulation Agreement

Many different colleges have articulation agreements with other schools throughout the country. Community colleges often have articulation agreements or guaranteed acceptance agreements with many different schools throughout the state. If a school has an articulation agreement than that means that it will accept courses from other schools that are comparable to their own courses that they offer.

2. Check the Rules of the Agreement

Often times many schools will only accept courses with a grade of “C” or higher. Make sure to check if your college will accept “Ds” or you could be in dire straits when it comes to actually choosing a major and planning out how the rest of your semester will go. Another thing to consider is whether the institution is religious or secular. Many times religious schools will not accept religion courses that are taken at secular school. At the same time religious schools do require students to take courses in religion. This rule could affect you greatly so pay attention!

3. Check Your Transfer Guide

Check your transfer guide to see what course is equivalent to what. Transfer guides are often published directly on school admissions websites but many times a hard copy can be obtained through an admissions counselor. Transfer guides can be very confusing. Make sure you have a copy of your degree requirements open when going through the transfer guide on your own. This way it will be much less confusing.

4. Mail in Your Transcript

Some schools will accept electronic transcripts or unofficial transcripts but most schools still prefer the traditional official transcript which has to be mailed in an official sealed envelope straight from the school. Some schools will also have you fill out a form that allows them to obtain the transcript directly from your previous school. Make sure to follow all of their instructions by filling out all of the necessary forms in a prompt, professional manner. It is important to be prompt in this because transfer credit evaluations can take a significant amount of time. Most colleges will require the evaluation to be completed before you pay your deposit or register for any classes.

5. Meet With Your Advisor

This is one of the most important steps in the entire process. All of the research that you have been doing all leads up to this point! Make sure you study the manuals backwards and forwards before you reach this point. Much of it is the same whether you are a traditional student attending a brick and mortar university, or a nontraditional student going to school online. When you meet with your advisor do not hesitate to bring up any questions that you may have. Bringing up these valuable questions will save time, money, and effort later. Your advisor is a qualified, experienced professional. No question is ‘too stupid’ for him or her to answer, so ask away!

6. Evaluation Agencies

if you transferring credits to an institute in another country (International students) getting your credentials evaluated form an internationally recognized evaluation agency is the best way to go about it, it might save you a hefty amount in tuition fees in the form of credit waivers.

Lastly, be sure to have fun at your new school. This is a new school filled with new opportunities. Chances are, you are not the only one that is a frightened transfer student about to embark on one of the greatest adventures ever in your lifetime!

Top careers for 2014

With 2013 ending right around the corner, there are many predictions for careers which see a growing trend. The changing industry trends have led experts to predict the following top careers for 2014, which will see a growing trend and provide stable income:

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations officers are seen to be in high demand, in the next year and carrying forward. This is so, because of changing marketing trends. With the social buzz, companies are in an ever increasing need to hire PR Specialist to maintain their public image.

Projected growth rate: 23%

Database Administrator

Companies are forever in the process to collect data, regarding consumer buying habits, product trends etc. The large of amount that it collects which basically drives their companies forwards will be the focus for the coming years. Companies need computer specialists who are skilled at managing, organizing and securing the data. This also calls for analyzing and extracting relevant content from the data. Database Administrators are believed to be in high demand in 2014

Projected growth rate: 31%

Petroleum Engineer

The focus of the world doesn’t seem to be moving anywhere from oil and gas in 2014 or coming years. To utilize and dig other cleaner sources of use doesn’t seem to be near. So, petroleum engineers will be in high demand for quite some time. With the increase in population and depleting sources of fossil fuel; petroleum engineers will be needed by companies to locate and extract diminishing sources.

Projected growth rate: 17%

Software Developer

Computer software’s and technology is changing the world. How we live and operate our lives is being shaped everyday with new technologies. The advancement in cell phones to smart phones and the various applications being made every day is making this profession one of the hottest to set foot in. software developers analyze the need and then design, test and develop programs and computer applications.

Projected growth rate: 30%

Medical and Health Services Manager

The health care industry is flourishing and it requires people for its management. The need for hospitals to hire health care managers is increasing with the increasing work load of patients, accidents and breakthroughs in medicine sciences.  Health care administrators work to improve the quality of health services and may also specialize in a certain area.

Projected growth rate: 22%

Personal Financial Advisor

A big part of the day, week or life of many people is spent managing their money. So for the big financial decisions of, kid’s college education, insurance needs, retirement, the majority turns to financial advisors. The managing of their finances is going to increasingly drive the need for able financial advisors high. The advisors are required to explain all the options for saving and investing and managing their clients portfolio; helping them plan for retirement or students education funds.

Projected growth rate: 32%

Counselors for Substance Abuse

It is a growing as well as rewarding profession. It requires patience and some amount of empathy to treat patients with alcohol, drug problems or eating disorders. But, knowing you will make a difference to someone’s life is an uplifting feeling.


The outlook for salaries of vets looks promising, going up to $100,000. The education requirement is quite strenuous requiring passing a state exam. The business that vets get is ever increasing with people willing to go the vet for diseases faced by their pets.

Projected growth rate: 25%

Theater and Performance Arts makeup Artists

This field is much underrated and undervalued by many people but it’s going to be a fast growing career in 2014. It is solely for people looking for creativity in their chosen field of work and requires nothing more than some natural talent and makeup courses.

Projected growth rate: 39%