Degree Mills & Accreditation

How to Spot High School Diploma Mills: The Fake GED Online
Diploma Mill Police  >  Degree Mills, What They Are and How To Avoid Them
By Rachel Wang   
High School Diploma Mills | Fake GED online | Multiple Choice Test
Make sure your GED is the real deal, take it in person.
The GED ® (General Education Development) test offers a second chance to those who lack a formal high school degree. But for high school diploma mills, offering a fake GED diploma online is just another way to scam students.

diploma mill is a online high school or university that sells worthless degrees. While it can be tricky identifying these fake schools, it isn’t impossible (check out Diploma Mill or Real Online Degree? 10 Ways to Spot the Fake). Once you know a few key facts, you can easily determine if that online GED program you’ve been exploring is real or a dangerous scam.
Read on for tips on how to make sure you're not getting a fake GED diploma online.

Diploma Mills in the United States: Top 10 States
Diploma Mill Police  >  Degree Mills, What They Are and How To Avoid Them
By Consumer Reporting Team   
Top States for Diploma Mills and Fake Degrees in the USHere's a list most states in the USA hope they'd never make: the top 10 states in the United States where lax laws have encouraged scam artists to operate degree mills or diploma mills.
"Degree mill" is a term used to describe phony colleges that crank out fake degrees and transcripts at a dizzying pace.
Sadly, the United States may lead the world in diploma mills, degree mills and fake online colleges, according to a report by Verifile Limited, a United Kingdom firm.
Here is a list of the top 10 locations by state for diploma mills in the United States. According to Verifile, these states may be home to the highest number of fake universities—unaccredited institutions of higher education—and unrecognized accrediting agencies: 
  1. California (134)
  2. Hawaii (94)
  3. Washington (87)
  4. Florida (57)
  5. Texas (53)
  6. New York (44)
  7. Louisiana (39)
  8. (tie) Illinois (29)
  9. (tie) Nevada (29)
  10. Arizona (28)
Read more about Verifile's report on fake online colleges and online degree mills

Are Online Degrees Respected?
Diploma Mill Police  >  Degree Mills, What They Are and How To Avoid Them
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   

How Earning a Degree Online Can Help Your Career

I’m worried about whether my online degree will be respected. I just completed my bachelor's online and am ready to send out my resume. Should I use my cover letter to reveal to potential employers that I earned my degree online? Do employers respect online degrees?
—Holly in Nashville, Tenn.

These days, earning degrees or taking post-secondary courses online is not an oddity. In 2012, an estimated 86 percent of traditional residential colleges offered college courses through online learning. More than one-third offered entire degrees online. 
Online education is no longer the future. It’s right now. Employers are embracing online education in record numbers. Unlike a decade ago, employers no longer automatically perceive online degrees or distance education as inferior or second class.
Online degrees are gaining respect.
As a result, there is no need to reveal in a cover letter or resume that you “earned your degree online.” Details about why you chose any particular type of school—such as a private school versus a public school or a Christian college versus a secular college—are best left to discussion during an actual interview.  
Learn which online schools MAY carry stigmas and how to discuss your online degree with a prospective employer

List of Fake College Degree Accreditation Agencies
Diploma Mill Police  >  Degree Mills, What They Are and How To Avoid Them
Help Stop Fake College Degree Accreditation Agencies
Here is the official Get Educated list of 40+ fake college accreditation agencies that claim to oversee a variety of online college and university degree programs.

Most of these agencies "accredit" diploma mills or degree mills.

Consumers Beware: NONE of these accrediting agencies are recognized as college accreditors in the U.S. by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education. As such, colleges claiming “accreditation” by these agencies are not accepted as valid providers of online degrees and should be approached with great caution if college credibility is important to you.

Remember, most diploma mills and degree mills are accredited—but by fake or phony agencies that the degree mills themselves own and operate!

Confused about degree mills? Check out the Diploma Mill Police's list of suspected degree mills.

Report suspected diploma mill scams.

Become a Diploma Mill Police Deputy, link up with Get Educated on Facebook or Twitter, and help stop degree mill scams.
View list of unrecognized, fake and dubious online college accrediting agencies

What is Online College or University Accreditation?
Diploma Mill Police  >  Degree Mills, What They Are and How To Avoid Them
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Merrimack College/Flickr
Online College or University Accreditation | College Student
If you're going to attend college, whether online or on campus, you'll want to attend one that is properly accredited.

Accreditation provides for the independent review of education programs for the purpose of determining if that education is of uniform and sound quality.

College accreditation is important if you want to have a public record of your learning that will be widely accepted by employers, professional associations and other colleges and universities.
Learn more about what to look for when evaluating online school accreditation

Diploma Mill or Real Online Degree? 10 Ways to Spot the Fake
Diploma Mill Police  >  Degree Mills, What They Are and How To Avoid Them
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Determine if Your School is Diploma Mill or Real Online Degree Before You Graduate
A diploma mill, also known as a degree mill, is a phony university that sells college diplomas and transcripts—the actual pieces of paper—rather than the educational experience. Diploma mills are scam colleges that literally crank out fake diplomas to anyone who pays the requested "tuition." 

Diploma mills often promise a fast college degree based on "life experience."
The Get Educated online education team has prepared these Top 10 Signs of an Online College Degree Mill to help students protect themselves from this popular online scam.

Don’t be fooled by degree mills. Many maintain impressive-looking websites, and all of them advertise heavily online under the attractive terms "fast degree," "life experience degrees," "fast online degree" and "work experience degree."

To protect yourself, look behind the curtain. Flip past the flashy graphics on the website and the promises of an instant degree for the name of the school’s accreditation agency.
Then, take the time to verify that the agency is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education.

If you remain suspicious, consult the Diploma Mill Police for a free accreditation report and to evaluate if your chosen college might possibly be a degree mill.
Read more to learn the top signs you are dealing with a degree mill

What is a Diploma or Degree Mill?
Diploma Mill Police  >  Degree Mills, What They Are and How To Avoid Them
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Gike a Factory, a Fake Diploma or Degree Mill Churn Out Products
“Pssst! Wanna buy a fake degree?”

Thousands of people do so, every day.

Some realize what they are doing, but an escalating number are being duped by degree mills that operate sophisticated Internet fraud schemes promising consumers they can get a degree fast online. These phony colleges, aptly named diploma mills, thrive on the sale of fake diplomas.
Read more about diploma mills and how to avoid them

Online College Degree Mills: How Prevalent Is the Scam?
Diploma Mill Police  >  Degree Mills, What They Are and How To Avoid Them
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Are degree mills really such a problem? 

Most people assumed not—until 2003, when the U.S. Government Office of Accountability undertook the first study of government employees who used federal tuition aid programs to  buy a fake college diploma online. 

That study, “Diploma Mills Are Easily Created and Some Have Issued Bogus Degrees to Federal Employees at Government Expense,” revealed an epidemic of false diplomasand education scams. 

The Congressional investigation uncovered 400 government employees, including upper echelon managers, who had decided to buy a degree using government tuition assistance programs or who had listed bogus colleges on their job applications. 
Read more about online diploma mills and fake degree programs

Regionally Accredited Online Colleges vs. Nationally Accredited
Diploma Mill Police  >  Degree Mills, What They Are and How To Avoid Them
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Whether You Choose Regional vs. National Accreditation, You'll Still Need Textbooks for School

Help! Choosing an online college is an overwhelming task. I have a list of more than 20 possible colleges. I’m favoring one that is nationally accredited by the Distance Education & Training Council (DETC). Will my degree be accepted by employers? My career counselor told me national accreditation (like DETC) is not as good as attending a regionally accredited online college. Which is better: regional accreditation vs. national accreditation? And does it really make any difference?
—Michael in Atlanta, Ga.

The truth? One type of online university accreditation is not necessarily “better” than another if you take “better” to mean “better academically.” However, there are real benefits to attending a regionally accredited online college versus a nationally accredited college.

Read more about online college accreditation



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