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How can I tell if a school is a diploma mill?

  • They often have names similar to well-known colleges or universities, but fail to mention an accrediting agency or name a fake accrediting agency.

  • The organization frequently changes addresses, sometimes moving from state to state.

  • Written materials typically include numerous spelling and grammatical errors, sometimes on the diploma itself.

  • 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!").

  • Degrees can be earned in far less time than normal (e.g. 27 days) or the diploma is printed with a specific backdate.

  • There is no selectivity in admissions, or any questions about previous test scores or detailed academic history.

  • No interaction with professors or faculty (e.g. only two emails are received from a professor).

  • Degree requirements are vague or unspecified, lacking class descriptions and without any mention of how many credit hours are required to complete a program.

  • Tuition and fees are typically on a per-degree basis.

  • Grade point average (GPA) and academic honors (e.g. Summa Cum Laude) can be specified at the time of purchase.

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