Online Education - Diploma Mills
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diploma millsWhat is a diploma mill?

 

A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization that awards academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without recognition by official educational accrediting bodies. The purchaser can then claim to hold an academic degree. These degrees are often awarded based on vaguely construed life experience.
 

A diploma mill will pose as a real university and rewards degrees without evaluating any (or very little) academic work from its students. They make money by selling printed degrees and providing academic references and falsified transcripts to individuals who purchase degrees from them.
 

A degree mill sells varying levels of degrees, from bachelor's degrees to doctoral degrees. A diploma mill typically has two types of customers:

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Individuals searching for a genuine academic program and are unaware that they are enrolling at a degree mill.

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Individuals who are aware that they are committing fraud and want to build their credentials quickly for academic or professional reasons.
 

The Internet can be a place where scams and counterfeit operations can target victims. It is not difficult to register a website with a .edu domain name.

Most schools disclose their complete contact information and mailing addresses with their registration information. Diploma mills have every reason to hide and mask their location, because they sell fraudulent degrees.
 

How can I tell if a school is a diploma mill?

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They often have names similar to well-known colleges or universities, but fail to mention an accrediting agency or name a fake accrediting agency.

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The organization frequently changes addresses, sometimes moving from state to state.

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Overemphasis on the speed and brevity with which someone can receive a degree (e.g. "Call now and have your degree shipped to you overnight!").

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Degrees can be earned in far less time than normal or the diploma is printed with a specific backdate.

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There is no selectivity in admissions, or any questions about previous test scores or detailed academic history.

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No interaction with professors or faculty (e.g. only two emails are received from a professor).

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Degree requirements are vague or unspecified, lacking class descriptions and without any mention of how many credit hours are required to complete a program.

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Tuition and fees are typically on a per-degree basis.

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Grade point average (GPA) and academic honors (e.g. Summa Cum Laude) can be specified at the time of purchase.

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Written materials typically include numerous spelling and grammatical errors, sometimes on the diploma itself.

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