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Diploma Mills; How to Recognize, Avoid Them

Definition: Sell degrees without requiring true academic achievement.
In other words: Worthless degrees.

Diploma Mills are highly profitable.

$200 Million: Estimated amount that diploma mills rake in annually
500: Estimated number of Ph.D. degrees awarded by Diploma Mills monthly
400: Estimated number of Diploma Mills
300: Number of websites run by Diploma Mills
98: number of fake accreditation agencies operating in U.S. today.

Preying on the Innocent: Why having a degree matters?

Bachelor Degree holders earn 85 % more than those with “just” high school diploma
Master’s and Ph.D.’s earn 45 % more than having a B.S. (or B.A.)

Protect Yourself: 10 Warning Signs:

1. The University is not accredited

Be wary of aggressive cold-calls, spam, using jargon:
Internationally approved

2. No studies, no exams, no interaction

3. Admission based on having a Visa or MasterCard 

4. Degree based on work experience and faxed resume
[No valid online university in U.S. will award a graduate degree (master’s or doctorate) based solely on a review of work, life or career experience.]

5. Instant degree—within 30 days of application, regardless of your status upon entry
6. Promised a degree in exchange for a lump sum — typically $399-$2,000 for an undergraduate degree and up to $3,000 for a graduate degree.

[Universities do not commonly charge flat fees.] 

7. Multiple complaints on file.

8. Your online “counselor” assures you that international online universities can’t be accredited in the U.S by CHEA-recognized agencies. 

[This is a lie.]

9. School’s website lists no faculty or lists faculty who have attended schools accredited by bogus agencies 

10. The university offers online degrees to U.S. citizens [but is located in a foreign country]

Top 10 U.S. Locations by State for Diploma Mills

• California (134)
• Hawaii (94)
• Washington (87)
• Florida (57)
• Texas (53)
• New York (44)
• Louisiana (39)
• (tie) Illinois (29)
• (tie) Nevada (29)
• Arizona (28)




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