Liar Education

“Undercover Testing Finds Colleges Encouraged Fraud and Engaged in Deceptive and Questionable Marketing


     — United States Government Accountability Office
Hey there, could I please speak with Susan?

Hey, Susan, great to finally get you on the phone! This is Marcus with The United States Collegiate University Education Institute Online, or USCUEIO for short. Based on information gathered by our ISP-tracking software, we see that your cursor hovered briefly over one of our ads (the one that reads “You MIGHT have won a FREE EDUCATION”), so I thought I would give you a call and talk to you about some of our cutting-edge degree programs.

Hahaha! No, Susan–I’m not a telemarketer. I’m an External-Contact Educational Enrollment Advisor-Communicator working in UCUSEIO’s  Knowledge Distribution Department for Unknowingly College-Bound Life-Long Learners. And not to put a damper on the excellent repartee that we have going here, but I would love it if you could save your questions and/or opinions for the automated survey at the end of the call.

That said, I am glad you spoke up a little bit, because it gave me a chance to hear your voice, and Susan, you’ve got the voice of a leader! This makes you an excellent candidate for the first degree program I want to talk to you about – our BA (Basement Associate’s) degree in Culinary Leadership for the Healthcare Environment. With exciting course offerings like “Drinking to Forget, Eating to Remember: Dietary Requirements for the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Clinic,” it’s no wonder that we’re the number one Internet-based institutional cooking school in America!

What’s that Susan? You have a bachelor’s degree? It must not be in Listening, since you obviously missed what I said earlier about that automated survey!

But that’s OK– maybe you’d be interested in our MA (Mostly Accredited) program in Ornithological Nutrition Unit Design and Marketing Leadership. This is the perfect degree for anyone involved in the bird-feeder industry, whether you’re just getting off the ground or trying to soar to new heights! And since there will always be birds and birds will always want food, this career field is almost one-hundred percent recession-proof!

It’s funny that you say that you “don’t have time for this,” Susan, because that’s what I was just going to talk to you about!

Time is money. You know it. I know it. The clock at the bottom of computer screen counting down to “Rock and Enroll” knows it. Well, at USEICO, we respect your time because we know every minute spent on school work is a minute you could be using to make money in order to provide for your family. That’s why all of our assignments — essays, discussion board posts, you name it – are 160 characters long and can be turned in via text message! Gone are the days when you would have to sit down to finish your homework! Now you can text in a reading response while you’re shopping for groceries, taking the dog for a walk, or even in that private room for “functions.” It’s all part of our new, cutting-edge “U got 2 b educ8d” program!

Now, you might be thinking that it would be complicated and expensive to get a world-class education like the one we offer USCEOUI. Well, guess what?

Silently, Susan. Please, guess silently.

Anyway, we make paying tuition as easy as possible by offering two simple and affordable payment plans: First, we have the “Scared of Success” option: this is for incoming students who might not be interested in improving their lives and, therefore, only want to sign up for one course at a time. For these education amateurs, the price per Personal Betterment Unit (one-quarter of a credit hour) is $510. Our second option, “The Path to Happiness,” is for students who are ready to meet the needs of today’s complex job market by signing up for three or more courses at a time. For such forward-thinking, motivated academics, the cost per Life-Enhancement Unit (one-eighth of a credit hour) is only $205!

So, what do you say? Can I sign you up for any of our programs?

Calm down, Susan. It looks as though I’ll have to put you right through to that automated survey. Susan? Susan?


Sean Adams is a humor writer living in the Midwest. His work has been featured on McSweeney’s, The Bygone’s Bureau and elsewhere.