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  Category: Articles » Education & Reference » Article

How to Recognize Diploma Mills

By Matt Norman

Making the decision to continue your education online is an important
one. It is vital, however, that you do your research to make get the
most out of your education. Here are some tips to help get you

The first thing you should look at when deciding on your school is their
accreditation. Many diploma mills will claim to be accredited.
However, upon further inspection, you will find that many are not or
are accredited by a company, which has been set up by the school
itself, to lend legitimacy to its programs. Be diligent in contacting the
college and asking for proof of their accreditation. Don't be afraid to
get in touch with the awarding body to verify that what the college is
telling is in fact true. Many diploma mills do not expect prospective
students to conduct due diligence on them, so this can be to your
advantage. The U.S. Department of Education maintains a website
which lists recognized awarding bodies and the Distance Education
Council will be happy to help you verify a particular college's

Read the course catalogue closely to get a sense of what sort of
programs they offer. In the rush to capitalize on the explosion in the
online education market, many colleges will offer degrees in areas
before than can develop a reputable or experience faculty. Does the
instructor actually have professional and academic experience in the
field that they teach? If you have any questions or queries, contact the
university or the instructor and ask them. This should help you get a
better sense of what the institution and its instructors are like.

One of the best indications that an online school is a diploma mill is if
their admissions policies are too lenient or non-existent. While there
are many good colleges with relaxed admissions procedures, diploma
mills are often simply interested in taking money off of students in the
form of tuition or fees. If the college is too keen to grant you credits
based upon past courses or life-experience without careful
consideration, than that is usually a sign that the school is best avoided.

While earning your degree online can be a rewarding experience, it is
important that you know what to look for when choosing your school.
About the Author
Matt Norman is the founder of Easy Distance Learning a website providing information on learning online

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