How Can I Tell the Difference in a Diploma Mill and an Accredited College?

October 20th, 2016 by

Thinking about CollegeIf you are among the many individuals who are discovering the amazing benefits of attending online college to earn your degree, it’s super important to know that the college you choose is accredited, and not a diploma mill.

With today’s easy access to technology with our mobile devices as well as tablets and laptops, anyone can easily become overwhelmed when beginning a search for a respectable, accredited online university to attend.

Here are some clues that can help you spot a diploma mill vs an accredited school.

Overzealous and High Pressure Representatives

Online schools employ representatives to help them recruit qualified students. When you request information from any website regarding college classes and degrees, you will be contacted by a representative to discuss your educational needs and goals.

These individuals are there to assist you with any questions you may have and to provide guidance to you in enrolling in the right program of study. One thing you should be wary of is a representative who tells you all you need to do to receive your degree is to send a certain amount of money up front!

This is a sure sign that you are not dealing with a legitimate accredited school. Accredited colleges have a real curriculum, real terms of 5, 9 or 12 weeks per course. They have tuition based on hours of credit just like any other college.

No Faculty Information Appears on Website

Every legitimate college employs college-educated instructors and are proud of this fact. If the college you are considering does not have information on their website about how their faculty is qualified, you should sense that something is amiss.

Most colleges require a minimum of a master’s degree to even be considered for employment. Depending upon the subject matter, some courses will require PhD’s or Doctorate degrees. Do your research and make sure courses are taught by qualified, well-educated individuals.

Application Process Does Not Require Transcripts

When applying for college, every individual should expect to produce a transcript from prior educational institutions – high school, GED Diploma, prior college courses completed, etc. If you are assured from the beginning that you will be admitted, regardless of your qualifications during the application process, you should be concerned and do some more checking.

An application process requires different documents to be completed and these may vary from one college to the next. However, you should definitely expect to complete an application process and provide proof of your education up to that point.

These are a few of the things you should be on the alert for when you’re looking into online colleges. You should expect to be treated just as you would if you were applying to a traditional college where you would attend classes on campus.

Also, keep in mind that many of the most respected online colleges also offer classes in the traditional setting and have campuses around the country to better serve their students. Pay attention to the way the representative interacts with you. You should expect to be treated with respect in a professional manner as you discuss your plans to earn your degree online.

If anything sounds fishy to you, ask questions and do more research online to uncover the information you need.

Here is a great place to begin exploring accredited online colleges. When you fill out a form to request more information, you are under no obligation at all. You should expect to be contacted by someone affiliated with the college or university who will answer additional questions for you and help you decide if their program is the right one for you. They will tell you what you should do to begin the application process.

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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