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List of Blacklisted Universities in USA – How to Identify such schools ?

With the recent deportation of many Indian students from US, there is so much of anxiety among students, parents and many aspirants planning to pursue higher education in US. I see many common questions like below asked by many students to validate their schools and higher education journey…

  • What are the list of Blacklisted Universities in USA ?
  • Is Silicon Valley University Blacklisted ?
  • Is NPU a Blacklisted University ?
  • Is Stratford University blacklisted ?
  • List of blacklisted universities in USA for 2015
  • Black Listed Universities for F1 Visa ?

Many such questions. Our goal in this article to shed some light on the Blacklisted Universities in US and educate you with some basics on how to identify such university.

Is there really a list of Black Listed Universities in US for F1 students?  Does USCIS or US Dept. of State or SEVP publish such list of Blacklisted Schools?

Technically, there is no such official list, unlike H1B Debarred Companies list for H1B Sponsors, published by USCIS, SEVP or US Dept. of State.  With incidents such as raids at the Tri-Valley State University that impacted 1555 International students in 2011, students and aspirants started to create their own list of schools that do not have accreditation or using their own parameters. There is technically no such defined list as such.  So, when you see a list of blacklisted universities in US, you are looking a list compiled by aspirants, with their own parameters of featuring them as bad.

So, what makes up a Blacklisted Universities List ?  How to Identify such schools ?

There are one or many of the below reasons that can make up a university eligible for being part of such blacklisted Universities list. If you identify a school with some of the below traits, then you should be cautious as they maybe risky for you to pursue higher education as they could be blacklisted schools.

  • Universities Accepting Very low Profile Students, No GRE, TOEFL requirements: One of the most common trait of a bad or blacklisted school is that it accepts students with very low profile, which could include low test scores and low academics. Some of them even would not have GRE and TOEFL requirements. Some may just accept TOEFL and give admission. For instance, if you look at schools that offer admissions for students who had about 50% in academics in undergrad with 10 to 15 backlogs as part their journey and low scores like TOEFL of around 60, then it could fall under a low profile school, that becomes a candidate for blacklisted university. I am not trying to generalize here, there are always exceptions. But, if you see many students with the profile mentioned like above are given admissions and I20s, then something to think about the credentials of the school…you may be putting yourself into trap. It is speculated that US Dept of State tracks schools accepting many students with low profile and some day that might burst with a raid. The students may get visas, but you must be careful, ICE would be watching all of this and tracking…you never know, when it will burst, if the system is abused by University.
  • Universities that do NOT have proper accreditation – Diploma Mills or Degree Mills: A diploma or degree mill is a school that awards degrees without proper standard and approval by officially recognized body. In fact, the accreditation program is also something that needs to be looked at carefully.
  • Universities that are doing illegal activities by breaking or bending the rules : A classical example of this is Tri-Valley state University that was caught for visa fraud. It was raided by ICE and left about 1555 students in big trouble.  Similar situation at Herguan University, where CEO was charged with visa fraud…obviously, these kind of schools involved in illegal activities get added to the list of blacklisted universities in USA. Another aspect to consider is Universities that offer CPT from day one, while some have success with these kinds of options…you need to be very careful, if the school is following the right process for CPT…these are the kind of schools that can get you into trouble.
  • Universities that are accredited by Accreditation Mills: An accreditation mill is an organization that gives accreditation to universities, where the accreditation is not recognized by the mainstream education body such as US Dept of Education, Secretary of education or Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The typical use of ‘mill’ signifies that it has very low standards similar to “Degree or diploma Mills”. You need to be very careful with the type of accreditation that a school has…you can think of diploma mills are accredited by accreditation mills..net in net, low standard accreditation given to a low standard school. That’s why it is critical to check the US Dept of Education website for accreditation status. You can check the full list of unrecognized higher education accreditation organizations.

In nutshell, if you come across schools that fall into any of the above categories, you need to be very careful…you may get I-20 and maybe even Visa, but you never know, if you would be in trouble at Port of entry… Read Port of Entry Procedures for F1 Students in US

So, what’s the list of Blacklisted Universities that is floating around on internet ?

I have looked at the so called list of blacklisted published in forums and other blogs…Basically the list that is floating around on internet as list of blacklisted schools is nothing but the list of unaccredited schools list at Wikipedia. You should check  List of Unaccredited Schools aka Blacklisted Schools in US , which is from Wikipedia and up to date with citations.

Have you noticed any other aspects that be attributed to a blacklisted school ?  Share your thoughts.


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  1. University of cumberlands seems legit and issue’s i-20. Has anyone any information about it? Is it legit or fake and i20 f1 visa success in india.

    • Yes, Campbellsville University is a safe school from which to pursue your masters degree. The university holds regional accreditation (RA), which is considered the “gold standard” of institutional accreditation in the United States.

  2. If something is too good to be true then its probably is. I started investigating the website of University of Woodland California when i was contacted by someone to investigate it. and within 10minutes i confirmed it’s fake.

    1. I went to their ranking page to see if they ranked on Times Higher education, Roundranking, Top Universities or 4icu and it didn’t not appear on any of these sites.

    2. The .EDUCATION domain is not restricted to anyone, While .EDU is restricted.
    EDUCATION is open to anyone, meaning a .EDUCATION domain also works for websites offering tutoring, online classes, and even information related to education. so i can open a website With .EDUCATION, from the comfort of my room.

    3. As i was going through the website i noticed a subtle error “…..get engaged with the best curriculum and help them manage their daily routine. The pogroms offered are updated, incorporates latest knowledge and are taught by professional and experienced professors……” I quickly googled for the new work “pogroms” and its no where close to education. They might probably correct the error is they come across this.

    With this points of mine, i am personally convinced if you are not already are that this institution have a higher tendency of being a scam. You can contact me on instagram @surplux if you want us to discuss more on this.

    • IT IS FAKE. Enter this site and see by yourself.


    • There are two types of college/university accreditation recognized by the Department of Education via CHEA in the USA: regional and national.

      Regional accreditation (RA) is the “gold standard” of accreditation in the USA and there are six accreditors, each accrediting institutions in a geographic region of the country. National accreditation (NA) is fully legal and recognized in the USA, but – whether true or not – is considered to be of lesser quality than regional accreditation. There are more national accreditors than regional accreditors.

      The University of Fairfax in Virginia has legitimate national accreditation (NA) in the USA through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is fully recognized by CHEA. Recognition by CHEA is what you want a school to have and the University of Fairfax fits that bill.

  3. Please Aware to all of you. Austell Ford University are FAKE …FAKE…FAKE….
    There are getting a lot of money for the tuition fee.

    After you in there school and you studying already ,they will block you form there school and website soon for no reason…
    And you will ask you again to pay the tuition fee but you are fully paid already.

    Be carefull specially from Middeast country.

    • wow they just called me right now, and I send my document for them and then he asked me to pay today saying that they have limited seats.

    • Can you please shield more light on Austell Ford University as I’m currently studying there on 80% scholarship without paying my own part yet. I’ve even received my welcome package from them, and I leave in the Middle East.


  4. Everyone, watch out for the cyber-based online university that targets students in Asia. It’s called “American University of Sovereign Nations” (AUSN). This self-claimed organizations have no recognition in the United States nor by other regional or international authorities and the school’s unaccredited status. It claims the membership of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), but in fact, it’s not a member.

  5. California public university offered me Honorary PHD @70000/- only. But I need the authenticity of the university… Is anyone there who can help me out?

  6. Hello,

    Please help me to know about the University of Mary, is it accredited? I’ve been contacted by one of their student advisors. Should I pursue with them for my online bachelor’s degree?

    Kindly share your experiences.

    • Dear Linda,

      I have done my Bachelor’s in Business Management from the University of Mary. I will say I learned a lot while studying there, I also enjoyed myself. The assignments were very beneficial to the entire learning process. I have come to recognize several ideas that have greatly impacted me, my views on learning, and my actual learning. My overall experience in the university has been beneficial because of the teachers who approached teaching with a more conscious effort and taught me to approach learning and my role as learner in the same way. However, my experience at the University of Mary is totally campus based, I have not taken any online course at the institute. Online and campus based are two different experiences. Therefore, you need to do your own research anyway.

  7. Thank you Emily for sharing your experience with us, it was quite helpful and made me understand about the recognition of the Woodland California University, I was also guided by my counselor related to the queries that I had, I wish you best of luck for your future endeavors and look forward to complete my education with the
    Woodland California University.

  8. woodland California University contacted me and offered me Ph.D. easily and charged very less amount, their website doesn’t exist in the USA and reachable, they don’t have an address and building in the city of woodland. They said that they are accredited by the United States Higher education Commission which doesn’t exist at all in the list of accreditation agencies in the USA.

    • Last year I applied for admission in multiple colleges, and I also got a call from them regarding the distance learning program. But I turned it down since I wanted to go for an on-campus based learning. They transferred me to their campus, however, I was short on a few credit hours that I had to complete first before I could begin my studies at the university. And let me tell you, it was the best decision, the faculty here is very supportive. I’m learning new concepts every day from my peers and faculty members. I’m quite shocked and surprised by such a comment posted. Afkar, just do your own research first. Check with the department of California and ask for the University for their Registration. Forums are not the place to get an answer. If forums were authentic then there would have been no need for regulating bodies. In my case firstly, they made me complete TOEFL tests. As I mentioned above that I was not really looking for a distance learning education medium, therefore I came to the USA and they transferred me to the main campus. It has been an exhilarating experience since then.

      • Everyone,
        Be careful on where you join as international student. No University does cold calling to recruit unless they are private and for profit schools. If you are international student or professional, you need to be careful with these as it will haunt you for your entire life in US. Always visit the school, check with ICE and few international students. If there is no proper .edu website, then they are probably not a good school in America. Be careful ! Be safe than Sorry later trying to join some random school.

        • I’m not sure about you guys, however I graduated with the woodland California university 5 years back through distance learning, I’ve utilised my degree And doing my master’s now with texas A&M university.

          • Everyone,
            This could be fake responses posted by the school’s marketing team under different names. Do your due diligence before you join or anything. Be careful !

      • Thank you Emily for sharing your experience with us, it was quite helpful and made me understand about the recognition of the Woodland California University, I was also guided by my counselor related to the queries that I had, I wish you best of luck for your future endeavors and look forward to complete my education with the
        Woodland California University.

      • Please I did an online masters degree. I. Texas fort university, USA please I want to know if the school is accredited. Please mail me on the email okolichigoziechibuzor@yahoo.com

  9. because they contacted me and offered me Ph.D. easily and charged very less amount, their website doesn’t exist in the USA and reachable, they don’t have an address and building in the city of woodland. They said that they are accredited by the United States Higher education Commission which doesn’t exist at all in the list of accreditation agencies in the USA.

    • Hi Afkar,

      May I know why do you ask specifically on Woodland California university.

      Because I have been looking for the same answer..

      A student advisor contacted me from here.

      • Tehreen I also want to confirm if woodland California university is a scam or a genuine distance learning university, anyone??

        • Unfortunately it is scam
          We pay more than 25000$
          Then they stop all the process for us as international student and ask for 20000 more.
          Then they stop contacting me.

          I don’t know how can I complain or what to do now?
          All the answers above are fake
          It is looks like their own language when they contact us.

  10. San Diego University for Integrative Studies is an unaccredited visa mill in San Diego, CA. They are at the point of losing their right to operate by California. Almost all of their students are F-1

  11. This company are using “California University” and they are selling illegal certifications, by charging people $3500 – $6000 for Masters or doctorate degree, and if you don’t have degree, they will issue degree from fake website and reevaluate the final diploma to USA equivalent.

    They consider their self as authorized higher education, but they are elementary school and childcare and their name is “University” because the term university not prohibited by law in California so they are benefiting from this law making millions of dollars from selling fake diplomas (Diploma Mill) https://www2.ed.gov/students/prep/college/diplomamills/diploma-mills.html


      • Woodland california University is scam and it offers you online certification in the beginning then they convince you that you will do your dissertation on campus and you have to pay to take the visa.

        I am regret that I was scammed by them.
        They took 27000$ then stop contacting me

      • All must share that Woodland California University is a fake and the person named Kathryn with mobile number +14123477612 is scamming people

  12. Hi everyone,
    I would like to know about milton ford university , they are offering courses via distance learning, are they authorized or their degree has any adequacy

    • Hi have you get any info about milton ford university? i am also processing to get my master degree. please let me know if you get any news.

  13. Ryno Fourie
    I think Nationally Valley University is really fake university , There is no accreditation by any university

    • i am also trying to find the answer to this question.
      do you have any further information regarding this?

      please email me at abbott900@live.co.uk


  14. Hi There,

    I have a question regarding a online university called Nationally Valley University and i am skeptical about it.

    Could anyone please help and advise

    Thank you


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