Is That Online Degree Really Worth Anything?
Growth in technology has made it easier for more students to have access to online courses to fit higher education into their already busy lives. The flexibility of online courses makes it easy for students to attend class, complete assignments and get their degrees.
But when you’re not meeting with a professor face-to-face or attending classes on a campus, it can be hard to tell a legitimate online college from a fraudulent one. The Internet has made it easier for more and more of these “diploma mills” to spring up and take your money, while granting you a worthless degree.
Diploma mills, so dubbed by the Department of Education, operate without supervision from a state or other professional organization. The degrees they grant are either fraudulent or completely worthless because of a lack of proper educational standards.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests that consumers protect themselves from diploma mills by doing the proper research ahead of time. The BBB also suggests looking for these red flags to alert you to a fraudulent institution:
- Degrees that can be earned in less time than at an accredited postsecondary institution, an example would be earning a Bachelor’s degree in a few months.
- Tuition paid on a per-degree basis, or discounts for enrolling in multiple degree programs. Accredited institutions charge by credit hours, course, or semester.
- Little or no interaction with professors.
- Names that are similar to well known reputable universities.
- Addresses that are box numbers or suites. That campus may very well be a mail drop box or someone’s attic.
Learn more about diploma mills and what to watch for before you enroll in an online university.
We welcome your comments if you are 13 or older, and hope that our conversations here will be polite. You are responsible for the content of your comments.
We do not discriminate against any views, but may delete any of the following:
- violent, obscene, profane, hateful, or racist comments
- comments that threaten or harm the reputation of any person or organization
- advertisements or solicitations of any kind
- comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity
- multiple off-topic posts or repetitive posts that are copied and pasted
- personal information including, but not limited to, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, mailing addresses, or identification numbers
In short: be nice and add to the discussion. If you continually violate this policy, we may limit your ability to comment in the future. If you have any questions or comments about this policy, please e-mail us.