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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Now Accepting Applications to the Land of the University of Redwood?

Posted on Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:44 AM

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It's bad enough that predatory, for-profit colleges such as Kaplan and the University of Phoenix overcharge and under-educate students every day. But getting prospective students to apply (and pay fees) to a made-up, completely fictional university?

That's exactly what the "University of Redwood" managed to do.

Okay. So. The University of Redwood doesn't exist. Instead, it's a charlatan website out of China, looking to rip off college hopefuls. Would-be students apply and pay application fees, only to receive a rejection notice weeks later.

And when it comes to not only the phony university's website design, but also its sheer identity, the ballsy minds behind this scheme decided the content over at Portland's own Reed College was simply irresistible. Reed's homepage, history, faculty, academic calendar, photos—pretty much everything—was copied and pasted into Redwood's fraudulent website.

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"Clearly, we've been trying to get the website taken down," says Kevin Meyers, public relations spokesperson at the legit Reed College. "We sent a cease and desist back in October, and got them to take it down for about 10 days. But then it went back up."

"It's pretty amazing what they did—they basically just switched out 'Reed' for 'Redwood' in all the text, and took as their own," he continues.

Here's hoping Princesston University doesn't make an appearance on the interwebs anytime soon.

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