To help prospective students identify illegitimate online colleges and universities, eLearners.com today revealed 10 signs an online school is a diploma mill . The list is from eLearners.com’s Guide to Diploma Mills, part of its “Guide to Online Education” series. The guide offers information to educate those considering online college degrees so that they are able to protect themselves and spot fraudulent institutions.
Ways to tell if a school is a diploma mill include:
2. The organization frequently changes addresses, sometimes moving from state to state.
3. Written materials typically include numerous spelling and grammatical errors, sometimes on the diploma itself.
4. Overemphasis on the speed and brevity with which someone can receive a degree (e.g. “Call now and have your degree shipped to you overnight!”).
5. Degrees can be earned in far less time than normal (e.g. 27 days) or the diploma is printed with a specific backdate.
6. There is no selectivity in admissions, or any questions about previous test scores or detailed academic history.
7. No interaction with professors or faculty (e.g. only two emails are received from a professor).
8. Degree requirements are vague or unspecified, lacking class descriptions and without any mention of how many credit hours are required to complete a program.
9. Tuition and fees are typically on a per-degree basis.
10. Grade point average (GPA) and academic honors (e.g. Summa Cum Laude) can be specified at the time of purchase.