Educational resources for the 21st Century

How Do I Avoid Diploma Mills?

There are a ton of legitimate schools out there. The problem is that there are hundreds of unaccredited programs. These scams-or diploma mills-exist solely to take your money.

How diploma mills work

Diploma have been around for longer than the internet. The premise hasn't changed with technology. Some require you to submit your life experience so they can evaluate you for credit earned. Some have you write an essay that they base their credit award on. Either way the credits are worthless.

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There are legitimate programs that evaluate your life experience, but these are few and far between. They are usually looking at specific skill sets. One example is the American Council on Education (ACE). ACE is a coordinating organization for America's institutions of higher education.

One service ACE provides is credit certification for military experience and schools. They do in depth evaluations of various programs and determine equivalent college credit based on actual skills and learning.

Other organizations offer credit for life experience. Unlike diploma mills they do a semester long in depth evaluation. They have you provide certifications, letters from employers, and in depth writing assignments to fully document your knowledge. In the end it usually is harder to get (real) life credit than take the class!

Questionable accreditation

Another thing that marks a diploma mill is their lack of real accreditation. Most are not accredited. If they are it is by organizations that are not legitimate or recognized by real organizations. This makes it hard to tell real programs from scams. It is especially hard since many of the fake accreditation organizations sound legitimate. In fact, they can sound more legitimate than the real thing!

Names are similar to real schools

Diploma mills also chose names that sound like the real thing. My favorite is Columbia State University. This diploma mill sounds like the prestigious Columbia University in New York (and several accredited schools named Columbia).

How do I avoid diploma mills?

There are really three ways:

  • Bite the bullet and go to a brick and mortar school. This is the easiest way but you lose all the advantages that distance learning provides. It also takes much longer. It will end up costing you between 8X and 20X more than our system.
  • Spend the time needed to find real programs then evaluate them to pick the best. The problem is that there is so much info and so many choices. Also, you need to find sources you can trust. It's a lot of work and adds an element of risk.
  • Buy We've done all the research for you. We identify the top schools. In fact we've selected the best of the best based on flexibility, cost, speed, and quality of degree. We also back up our system with real world experience. This isn't just theory, it's all been tested in the real world.
We back these claims up with results. Using our system:
  • I've proudly earned two bachelor degrees
  • My wife has earned her bachelor in business
  • My 16 year old son is 1/3 finished with his bachelor in business
  • A friend earned his bachelor in liberal arts degree

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