How does $399 for your bachelor’s degree sound… maybe a little too good to be true? I would say so! On average a 4 year public college education costs $62,000 and a private college education costs about $120,000. Those are huge price tags, which may make that $399 look even better, but it is not worth it. Some people are aware of the fact that they are getting a fake diploma and all they want is that piece of paper, but many people sign up believing they will get a real degree and education.
Diploma or degree mills are institutions that sell degrees, diplomas, or certificates for a flat-fee. This is not to say they are giving away a free education, they simply send you the piece of paper; so it looks like you went to college, even if you didn’t. Many say you can use your real-life experience as credits, or you’ll just need to sign up for a couple month course.
So how do you know if you are getting the real deal, or if this is a diploma mill trying to scam you? Diploma mills are known to advertise mostly online, have names similar to well-known schools, and have some type of “get a degree for your experience” slogan. These mills choose names that sound familiar because if it sounds like a school you have heard of before, and maybe even respect, you are less likely to question its authenticity. They also list a slew of accreditation, but none that the government acknowledges.
The name sounds right, they have accreditation, and you earn credits for your real-life experience, now all you have to do is sign up for an online package and you’re on your way to a degree. Unfortunately that’s not how it works; real-life experiences rarely count towards a degree, and if they do its just a few credits towards a particular field. Those online courses you signed up for, they don’t exist, you just receive a piece of paper in the mail. That’s it. When looking for a college, especially if your search is online, be cautious! As the online education industry grows, so does the diploma mill industry.
Many employers nowadays will verify the validity of your degree, if they find out yours is fake there are a couple scenarios. You won’t get the job you are applying for, you lose your current job, or you could even be prosecuted. Along with these legal consequences working with diploma mills can often lead to financial problems too. Do you know who is employed by diploma mills… aggressive salespeople. So now you have a fake degree and an aggressive salesman calling your house. They will tell you that you must get your degree authorized or you should sign up for more classes and degrees. You don’t want anyone to find out about the fake degree so you do what the salesman says.
In The News
Recently a big diploma mill has gotten itself in the news. The company, Axact an “IT and IT network services company,” has been in the news before, in its home country, Pakistan. The founder is a media mogul and this mill is his money supply. Axact has over 370 websites and many “schools” and “education” plans. “Yet on closer examination, this picture shimmers like a mirage. The news reports are fabricated. The professors are paid actors. The university campuses exist only as stock photos on computer servers. The degrees have no true accreditation.” This mill specializes in duping people into thinking they were receiving a real education or degree, and has lots of sales people to rack up the prices.
Unfortunately we live in a world where not everyone tells the truth, when picking a college be smart and be cautious.
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