Diploma Mills

Beware of offers of quick and easy degrees! Parents and students should be aware that there are companies doing business that claim to be institutions of higher education, but in reality are nothing more than fraudulent diploma mills.

       What is a diploma mill?

Webster’s Third International Dictionary defines a diploma mill as "An institution of higher education operating without supervision of a state or professional agency and granting diplomas which are either fraudulent or, because of lack of proper standards, worthless". Diploma mills (also known as degree mills) award academic degrees and diplomas with very little or no academic study. Such organizations are unaccredited, but they often claim accreditation by non-recognized / unapproved organizations set up for the purpose of providing a veneer of authenticity.

       Who do diploma mills hurt?

Students – With a degree from a non-accredited institution, the student may not qualify for certification in their chosen field.

Parents – The monetary investment you make in your child’s future may prove to be money down the drain if your child does not receive the education and training you expected and cannot get a job with the degree they receive.

Businesses – The businesses and economy of Alabama are hurt when people are hired who use fake, fraudulent degrees to qualify for employment. Check before hiring!

       How do I recognize a diploma mill?

You can recognize diploma mills by understanding their recruitment tactics, by the way they operate and by their accreditation status. Below, we have provided several links to a wealth of excellent information on diploma mills and accreditation. This information can help you to avoid becoming a victim of deceptive and fraudulent practices that take your hard earned savings and give you a worthless piece of paper in return.

Diploma Mills and Accreditation - Resources and Publications   (U.S. Department of Education)

Important questions about Diploma Mills?  (Council for Higher Education Accreditation)

Is the Internet Becoming a Haven for Diploma Mills? (Better Business Bureau)

Accreditation   (Alabama Commission on Higher Education)

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