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Lying to Financial Aid Office?

lovehurtslovehurts Posts: 2Registered User New Member
I have a serious question. What would happen if someone who has a degree from a foreign country does not reveal that to the financial aid office but would need to use that degree later on at another university?
Post edited by lovehurts on

Replies to: Lying to Financial Aid Office?

  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Posts: 16,433Registered User Senior Member
    The student could have their new degree invalidated and be prosecuted for fraud for the financial aid.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,863Registered User Senior Member
    If they found out the person was admitted to the school and received financial aid based on fraud (which this would be), they could revoke the degree and sue to get back any money given based on the fraud.
  • lovehurtslovehurts Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    How would 'they' find out?
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,863Registered User Senior Member
    No idea. They sometimes do though. There was a case a while back of someone who went to one of the Ivies based on some fraudulent data - did well there as far as I recall - then was transferring or going on to grad school at another top school. Somehow between references and transcripts and the schools talking to each other, school 1 figured out they had been defrauded. As far as I recall they revoked the degree and then he was prosecuted for fraud. I think he was a US citizen, so didn't face deportation as a student from overseas would.

    Some people may get away with this sort of thing unfortunately. They deserve to get caught and prosecuted just like any other crook.
  • LasMaLasMa Posts: 6,575Registered User Senior Member
    Do you really want to spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder?
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Posts: 31,054Registered User Senior Member
    Cross referencing with fin aid/taxes details come out. It may take them 8 or 9 years to determine fraud, but they do examine all relevant data.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Posts: 4,400Registered User Senior Member
    Some percentage of the fugitives got caught, some got away. Its a number game, if you want to play.
  • mazewanderermazewanderer Posts: 1,399Registered User Senior Member
    Also, if a person has a degree from another country, their age will not be the traditional college going age, they would be about 3-4 years older. The person might have to explain what they did for the 3-4 years (for example military service is a good reason why someone might not join right away) and so it you lie about it and then it gets around, you can get caught for lying on your application.

    Also, one of the more common reasons why a person gets caught is because someone complains. Loose lips, someone with a grudge and knowledge, some unexpected event etc. can all result in exposure.
  • OhioMom3000OhioMom3000 Posts: 2,062Registered User Senior Member
    Sometimes they find out through social networking sites.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,282Super Moderator Senior Member
    Don't worry about how "they" might find out. Just don't do it.

    If you have a prior degree, you would not be eligible for Pell or SEOG. Other than that, though, you can have a prior degree from another country & be eligible for undergraduate federal aid. You don't want to get Pell or SEOG fraudulently - so don't lie about the prior degree.

    Many schools do not award their own institutional funds to undergrads who have a prior degree. Again, don't lie - if you can't get a school grant, then that is how it is. Don't lie to get it.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 18,796Registered User Senior Member
    If you have a degree from a foreign institution what is your purpose in attending this university that you don't want to have to admit that you have that degree to?

    Do you need to complete a full second degree because of a particular career goal? Or, do you just need a few random courses in order to prepare for grad school admissions, and you don't want to have to pay the full cost for them?

    Not to mention, what is your immigration status? Are you a true international student who will need an F-1 visa? Or, are you a US applicant who was educated overseas?
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 32,376Registered User Senior Member
    How would 'they' find out?

    EVERYTHING is computerized these days. EVERYTHING.

    Bottom line...you KNOW this is being dishonest, and you know you should NOT be doing it. You are correct...it is fraud to falsify information to gain financial aid. I'm sorry but you sound like you are hoping someone here will say "sure...go ahead...it's ok". Sorry. That is not going to happen. It's fraud to do what you are suggesting.

    In fact...when you are applying to U.S. colleges, you are REQUIRED to list all previous colleges you have attended. To not do so is dishonest. To not do so to gain financial aid is fraud....and if you do it on a FAFSA (if you are a U.S. citizen), it's a federal crime which carries not only the loss of your degree and expectation of reimbursement for falsely receiving the money, but I believe there is a fine as well...and it's not chump change.
  • OlymomOlymom Posts: 1,686Registered User Senior Member
    I have posted on this topic before -- I used to have a job working for a fish and wildlife department where one of my tasks was to identify and ticket people who had illegally purchased an in-state fishing license when they really should have spent $10 for a non-resident license.

    I cannot begin to tell you the many ways I had to bust those cheapskates. We were trained with a number of techniques and then I discovered more as I got into the work. Pay attention here -- this was over a $10 fee and it was twenty five years ago -- before the internet and before Facebook. Do you really think you know about every picture posted on the internet with you in it? There you would be, tagged in a photo, at cousin Happy's car wash or birthday brunch, with your University of Tulipville T shirt with a date on it -- and the caption "My cousin came down from his Tulipville college senior finals for my brunch!" and you are so busted.

    Don't do it. In fact, make a habit of being honest about who you are and what you are trying to do. You might not get $5K off your tuition bill (short term "win") but, whatever degrees you do earn will be yours, proudly (long term, permanent "win" that no one can take back from you.).

    As our economy continues to stagnate, expect officials to get tougher and tougher about busting college fraudsters. Lie and you are committing fraud (as thumper1 indicated).

    And, because tuition is so much these days, you might be committing federal fraud for greater than $10,ooo -- a price point at which some student, some day, will serve some serious jail time.

    Not worth it. Not.
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