How to Spot a Fake School

  • Last Post 09 May 2011
Dan posted this 25 April 2011 - Last edited 25 February 2016

What is the best way to know if a school is a Degree Mill? Are there certain things I should look for to make sure I attend a "real" college? I'm nervous that I might make the wrong decision. Thanks for any help you can give me!

VickyPhillips posted this 25 April 2011 - Last edited 22 October 2015

Hi Dan,

Most people find it confusing when they try and determine if an online college is real or fake. There are more than 5,000 "real" colleges or advanced residential schools in the USA and most people have only heard of about a dozen of these so once you begin looking for colleges online you'll see a lot of schools whose names you do not recognize.

In a nutshell, the first 2 things to look for to determine if a college is real or fake:

1) Is the college accredited; 2) Is the accreditor a recognized accreditor (BE CAREFUL -- all degree mills are accredited BUT by fake agencies that they own and operate in an effort to confuse people who don;t know the names of the real college accreditors)

See our great list of fake college accreditation agencies.

You may find helpful Get Educated's great article Top 10 Signs Degree Mill.

If there is a specific school you suspect may be a degree mill and you want to know about that specific school check our list of diploma mills in the Diploma Mill Police database.


admin posted this 09 May 2011 - Last edited 22 October 2015

Hey Folks,

There are more than 300 online degree mill colleges in the USA.

My job is to be a watchdog for and to research reports of new degree mills.

If there is a suspected diploma mill out there and we don't have it yet profiled in the Diploma Mill Police database and list of degree mills, please let me know.

Post your concerns and I'll get back to you ASAP!

By way of an introduction, I am that dog who earned an online MBA with a GPA of 3.2 from Rochville University Online in 2009.

My job: take a bite out of the online education fraud and scam industry!

Chester Ludlow, MBA
Pug Dog Who Earned Distance MBA
Get Educated Diploma Mill Watchdog