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Five Signs that You’re Dealing with a Diploma Mill

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As online colleges gain more popularity, money-hungry diploma mills posing as legitimate online colleges are going to increase in number as well.
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  • Added: May, 15th 2012
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FiveSigns that You're Dealing with a Diploma Mill

As online colleges gain more popularity, money-hungry diploma mills posing as legitimate online colleges
are going to increase in number as well. This poses a serious problem, as these diploma mills hand out
degrees that hold absolutely no value in the outside, corporate world. So how can you tell whether you're
dealing with a diploma mill or a legitimate college? Let's find out.
Name similar to a famous college
Diploma mills try to convince innocent, unaware students of their legitimacy by taking on names
that sound very similar to well-known colleges. This is a tactic used to confuse students who make
the mistake of assuming that the college is a legitimate, well-reputed one. For example, Berkeley
International University of Southern California has absolutely no connection to the famous University of
California, Berkeley.
Degree can be earned in a matter of days
This should immediately raise a red flag. Diploma mills tend to hand out, in a matter of days,
postsecondary degrees that otherwise take at least a year to complete! These degrees are handed out to
students after they pay a fixed fee, with absolutely no work necessary on the student's part. If you come
across a "college" that promises to reward you with a degree within say, 15 to 30 days or even just a
couple of months, then you should know that you're dealing with a diploma mill.
Little to no work required to earn your degree
As mentioned earlier, diploma mills charge you a flat fee for a postsecondary degree, which can
be "earned" in a matter of days. They make use of advertising gimmicks to sell the idea of earning a
college degree with just your life experience. None of these diploma mills require any coursework to be
completed in order to earn your degree. The smarter diploma mills promise to give you your degree for
very little coursework, saying that your work experience or involvement with the military qualifies you for a
degree.
The college is unaccredited or has fake accreditation
A well-reputed, legitimate college will hold an accreditation from an accrediting agency recognized by
the U.S. Department of Education. Plus it will provide details about its accreditation on its website. To
check whether the college has been accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, you should check
the database of recognized accredited agencies that the U.S. Department of Education maintains on its
website.1Diploma mills are either unaccredited or use the accreditation of a fake agency.
No mailing or postal address on their website
Beware of colleges that provide no postal address on their website. This is also true of online schools. A
respectable online school will always have an address and contact details on its website.
Do they same rules apply to online colleges?
Absolutely! Any online college worth its salt will provide details about its programs and accreditation on
its website at length. Let's take the example of Independence University. Independence University is an
accredited online college that offers degrees in careers that are in-demand in today's job market. If you
look at some of the Independence University student reviews, you will find adequate information about
its student services, accreditation, financial aid assistance programs, and more. If you wish to find out
more about the college, you should consider reading an Independence University student review.
Always do your research well before applying to any college, on campus or online. Check with the
Better Business Bureau and U.S. Department of Education to find out if the college you're looking into is

operating legally and conscientiously.
Resources:
1.
http://www.ed.gov/?svkid=EZPK&usid=65854690-8e95-11e1-8a60-0019b9e222fd

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