Fraud in Higher Education (Online Self-Study)

CPE Credit: 2 
Course Level: Overview
Prerequisite: None


In this course, you will learn how higher education institutions in the United States operate and how those specific operations can be manipulated by people to defraud those institutions. Additionally, this course will provide you with an in depth look into how technology currently affects fraud in higher education and how technology might influence the ways in which fraud examiners tackle higher education frauds in the future.

Key Takeaways:

  • Methods people use to commit fraud in higher education
  • Internal controls higher education institutions can use to combat fraud
  • Ways technology use in college and universities increase the risk of fraud
  • Common motives that people have for committing fraud against higher education institutions
  • Nonfinancial consequences that colleges and universities face after they have discovered fraud

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CPE Information:

You Will Learn How To: 

  • Recognize the common motives that people have for committing fraud against higher education institutions
  • Identify ways that technology use in college and universities increase the risk of fraud
  • Discern the nonfinancial consequences that colleges and universities face after they have discovered fraud
  • Recall the various types of internal controls that higher education institutions can use to combat fraud in various departments
  • Distinguish between the common methods people use to commit fraud in higher education





Table of Contents:

Part I: Introduction
  • Lesson 1: History of Higher Education
  • Lesson 2: Types of Higher Education Institutions
  • Lesson 3: Structure and Governance
Part II: Admissions Fraud
  • Lesson 4: Admissions Process
  • Lesson 5: Perpetrators of Admissions Fraud
  • Lesson 6: Combating Admissions Fraud
Part III: Financial Aid Fraud
  • Lesson 7: Types of Financial Aid
  • Lesson 8: Perpetrators of Financial Aid Fraud
  • Lesson 9: Fighting Financial Aid Fraud
Part IV: Fraud in College Athletics
  • Lesson 10: The Athletic Recruiting Process
  • Lesson 11: Fraud Schemes in College Athletics
  • Lesson 12: Battling Fraud in College Athletics
Part V: Fraud in University Research Departments
  • Lesson 13: University Research Department Operations
  • Lesson 14: Fraud Schemes in University Research
  • Lesson 15: Combating Fraud in University Research Departments
Part VI: Fraud in Higher Education: The Big Picture
  • Lesson 16: Who Are the Victims?
  • Lesson 17: Emerging and Future Trends
  • Lesson 18: The Future of Fraud in Higher Education

ACFE Online Self-Study Courses Feature:

24/7 access to courses through your Internet browser

Save time and quickly earn CPE credits with instant access, grading and printable certificate

The flexibility to start or stop a course and pick-up right where you left off

No additional shipping fees

Learn more about accessing your online self-study course.

Learn more about about online self-study courses and their features.

System Requirements:

Internet access: High-speed connection recommended

Free Adobe Flash Player

Speakers required for video sound

Online Self-Study Troubleshooting Guide:

Problem: When I attempt to access my courses from “My Online Learning,” the course never launches, or I receive an error message saying my pop-up blocker needs to be turned off.

Solution: Your web browser must be configured to allow pop-ups in order to access ACFE Self-Study courses. Your browser may prompt you to allow pop-ups, or you may have to allow them manually. You may either allow them for all sites, or allow them just for the current site.

For information on how to manage your pop-up blocker settings in a specific browser, click the link below that corresponds to the browser you are using:

Internet Explorer
Google Chrome

Also note that many toolbars, such as the Google Toolbar and Yahoo! include pop-up blockers as well. If you have one or more toolbars installed on your browser with built-in pop-up blockers, you must configure them to allow pop-ups.

Problem: When I click on a course from “My Online Learning,” I am presented with a login page, but my username and password won't allow me to log in.

Solution: You do not have to log in a second time to access your online self-study. You most likely reached the login page because you clicked the link labeled “Click Here” as shown below:

Online SS Image Absorb Error

Do not click that link; instead, allow your browser to automatically open the eLearning window on its own, which should happen after a few seconds. This will log you in automatically so that you can access your online courses.

Problem: I receive the following error when I try to load a different lesson with a course:

SS Online API Error

Solution: This occurs in Internet Explorer when trying to load a different lesson without closing the current lesson. This error can be avoided two different ways:

Always close the current lesson before going to another one. Always click the Close Window button (usually the red “X” in the upper right corner) of the current lesson before clicking on another lesson.

Use a different browser. This error seems to only occur in Internet Explorer, so using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome should resolve the issue (see below for links to download either of these browsers).

Other Troubleshooting Tips: If you encounter other errors, such as courses freezing or crashing, we recommend taking the following action:

Try a different browser. ACFE online self-study courses are designed to run on all modern web browsers, but if you encounter a problem that is not solved using one of the suggestions above, you can try using a different web browser to see if it eliminates the problem. We have most frequently seen where using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome has resolved an issue that was seen in Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox can be downloaded here
Google Chrome can be downloaded here

Make sure you are running the latest version of Flash. Go to to see what version of Flash you are running, and then compare that to the table on that page to see what the latest version is for your operating system/browser combination. If you are not running the newest version, you should upgrade and see if that resolves the problem.