Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ghana SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT Lessons/Tuition

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS

Recently, our attention have been drawn to the fraudulent means being employed by many individuals and organizations to take money from unsuspecting students and parents with the promising of guaranteeing them admissions and scholarship.

In a recent Daily Graphic Report on Thursday, July 10, 2008, the biggest selling Newspaper in Ghana carried a story on the disappointment of many Ghanaian Students whose education have been affected by the activities of such individuals and organizations. We reproduce below the full Daily Graphic Report and information on the subtle ways these individuals and organizations employ to defraud students and parents for you to take our advice serious in order not to become a victim:

GHANAIAN STUDENTS IN LIMBO
DAILY GRAPHIC (THURSDAY, JULY 10, 2008)
STORY BY SEBASTIAN SYME

The fate of many Ghanaian students learning towards prescribed tests leading to admissions to tertiary institution in the United States of America (USA) is in limbo, following disappearing of the tutors to whom they have paid huge sums of money as tuition fees.

The students, who were being taught in Various parts of Accra for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), among other tests, told the Daily Graphic that they paid various sum of money, ranging from GH¢ 300 to GH ¢500 as tuition and registration fees to their tutors, only for them to disappear after payment.

The SAT, TOEFL and GMAT are tests offered to students who intend to pursue higher education on in selected universities in the USA on condition that these international students meet a required pass grade of a university of their choice.
Some of the students who spoke to the Daily Graphic on condition of anonymity said the heads of some of the institutions running such courses tricked them into paying money with the assurance that their participation in the examination qualified them automatically to gain admission to a university of their choice in America.

They noted that what those heads failed to tell them before they parted with money was that varying required marks were set by the universities in the USA, which a candidate must meet to qualify for admission. They stated that as soon as they paid the money demanded by their various lecturers, they never set eyes on the lecturers again.

Investigation conducted by the Daily Graphic revealed that some of the unscrupulous persons embossed on their banners “Member of College Board” to suggest that their institutions were recognized by the American College Board, which has over-sight responsibility for the admission of international students into America universities

Ms Juliet Donkor, a victim of fraud, explained that she was deceived to pay GH¢400 by the head of the institution (whose name she decline to mention), with the assurance of processing her registration for the examination, only for her to lose the money when she discovered that the registration had not been done.

Another victim, Ms Joana Kussi, told the Daily Graphic that she parted with GH¢200 as tuition fee to sit the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) only for her to be disappointed by her tutor, who failed to register her for the examination.
Several other victims who declined to give their identities expressed worry at the incidence of criminals infiltrating the US access education system in the country because of its uncontrolled nature.

When contacted to comment on the issue, the Programmes Director of Timeline Trust Company Limited, Mr. Richard C. Aryee, whose organization is offering tuition to students in such tests, expressed regret at those who had infiltrated the system to destroy the few who were doing genuine work.

He called on students who wanted to write the tests to investigate the background of persons who claimed were into such business to ensure that they were not cheated.
Daily Graphic, Thursday, July 10, 2008.

SOME OF THE MEANS BEING EMPLOYED BY FRAUDSTERS IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION IN GHANA AND OUR ADVICE TO STUDENTS AND PARENTS.

1. Organizations and individuals who claim to be representing, associating and subscribing to colleges and universities or are prestigious members or subsidiaries of organizations and therefore can guarantee you admissions and scholarships.

The activities of these organizations and individuals are on the increase. Students and parents should take note that many factors are taken into consideration before colleges and universities arrive at admissions and financial aid decisions. For you to be granted admissions into any higher institution of learning you must meet some minimum requirement and you must complete an application form signed by you. Please take note that, the decision for anyone to be offered admissions or to be granted financial aid is not delegated.

Most of the claims of these individuals and organization to be associates of colleges/universities and other bodies cannot be verified and sometimes their overseas addresses when checked are residences of individuals who have nothing to do with their work. However, a few individuals and organizations legitimately represent the interest of some schools. These honest ones will not hesitate to connect you to the said college/university they represent in question because if you contact the college/university, you will be referred to them.

With this in mind, students and parents should not pay money to these organizations and individuals who ask them to pay a non-refundable fee of any sort before revealing the identity of a school. You should also be careful about those who tell you to pay all cost involved and leave it to them. It is very dangerous to do that. Take responsibility for everything since education is precious and where anything has to be done on your behalf be vigilant. All payment to the school should be done directly to the college/university by you, using bankers draft or any other means of accepted payment and not through an individual or organization. Insist on using on your e-mail address and do not give access to anyone. You can let them know the content of any communication from a school. After all, when you go to school, you will be responsible for your education.

2. Organizations/Individuals claiming that Admission tests such as SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc are not a must for admissions into US Colleges/Universities.

We advise students to be very careful about such claims. Do not pay money to any group claiming that test scores are not necessary for admission unless you have contacted the college or University in the United States as this is not the case for traditionally good schools. Good schools recognized by properly accredited institutions which the US Embassy recognise will request you to submit a test score on at least one admission test such SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc

Secondly, the US Embassy includes the test scores as one of the documents in your credentials that you should bring along when coming for interview. Visit: http://ghana.usembassy.gov/student_visas.html to review the requirement. We advice students to meet all requirement and should take note that they can do well on these test when they take preparation from centers that have the experience and the resources to prepare them for a successful study abroad. Students should therefore take note that, such dubious groups and individuals include no admission test required in their advertisement to fool you to pay their non-refundable fees only for them to tell you that you need the test or for it to be requested later and you are found wanting. Please call us for assistance on 027-440-2840 or visit our office to speak to a counselor.


3. Organizations/Individuals claiming that, student will pay fees when they arrive in the United States creating the impression that students will have beaten immigration to be in the US.

Students are advised to be extremely careful about such thinking and portrayal of life in the US. The visa you applied for to enter the US is a student Visa and holders of FI Visas (Students Visas) are cannot be employed enter full time employment. Please visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html . Even if you have an on campus work, the money you earn is just below USD 3, 000 and that can only take care of your personal expenses and sometimes this same amount has been captured in the Financial Aid that the school offered you. It is important you consider the cost of attending a particular college/university in relation to your sources of funding. It is best to be honest about your financial ability and then seek help in making the right choices. Students who do not have the resources to finance their education are advised to rather choose schools with opportunity of financial aid, which can cover the differences in the cost of attending and their family contribution. The process is competitive but they can access thousands of financial aid with their academic work, talent and potentials by taking the required admission tests such as SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc and doing well in them and making a good application to the college/university. So there is a way and you should understand that you have to work your way out by doing the right things. Please call 027-440-2840 to talk to a counselor or visit our office for help.

The sad ending of people who have assumed that just entering the United States is enough and can ignore immigration procedures tells why you should be careful about selfish people who are only interested in taking your money at the expense of your ambitions to travel. If you do not have aid covering your cost of attending, you will have to pay before the College or University before you register for the academic year work. If not, you have to return to Ghana and if you do not return, you live as an illegal immigrant. Your education ends and you will forever be running away from the US Officials. It is better to take the required test at an institution that has the experience and the knowledge to guide you to enroll successfully to pursue you education.

Such dubious groups also advertise numerous countries as where you can go and study. Some of the countries have rather hash economic environment for students, so always talk to someone who have had the experience of schooling in any country before you leap into it or visit the embassy of the country in question for information. Those advertising these in our dailies in some cases have not even visited any of those countries and only visited web pages and then they advise you to pay them money to assist you to go to school.

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