Home > Resources > College Prep > Choosing The Right School > Dont Be Fooled By Cheap Imitations Exploring Degree Mills

Don't Be Fooled By Cheap Imitations - Exploring Degree Mills

Employers all over the nation are running headfirst into a major problem—degree mills. Degree mills are businesses that specialize in manufacturing false credentials for any customers who can foot the bill—no experience, education, or time commitment required. Though the government does attempt to control the propagation of these counterfeit degrees, degree mills can be hard to locate because they are primarily virtual companies with no office space outside of their P.O. Box.

Customers pay anywhere from $50 to $5,000 (depending on the major) for an impressive watermarked set of transcripts from an institution of their choice. Most degree mills maintain that the diplomas available on their site are offered through accredited universities. Not so. The so called ‘universities,’ that issue these degrees are never accredited institutions recognized by the federal government. And the worst part? The individuals who purchase these degrees go on to compete in the job market armed with a counterfeit degree and not a single drop of experience. Employers typically aren’t aware that they’ve been duped by a job applicant until long after the individual has been hired. This can be particularly dangerous, particularly if the swindler pursues a career in a highly specialized field like oral surgery.

The bottom line: no matter how much you pay for the transcripts, a degree is still counterfeit if you haven’t completed the appropriate coursework.

How do degree mills affect me?

Quite simply, they reduce your chances of getting that job that you went to college to prepare for. This phenomenon has a name: degree inflation. Every year degree mills—a thriving billion dollar industry—manufacture credentials for increasing numbers of individuals. As job applicants flood the market with counterfeit degrees, they reduce the significance of the bachelors, masters, and even the doctorates degree that you have worked so hard to earn. In the long run, each and every person will pay for the price for someone else’s bogus degree. Be a part of the solution: work for your degree and earn it from a legitimately accredited institution. If counterfeit degrees continue to saturate our market and remain undetected by employers, it won’t be long until our wages and the number of available positions begins to decrease.

How to detect a degree mill

Degrees mills aren’t hard to find—just search ‘instant degree’ on Google—and you’ll likely turn up hundreds of examples. Generally, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is! Slogans to look out for

  • "We offer credential verification"

    Degree mills are known for offering credential verification for customers who purchase a diploma package from their company. This statement should serve as a warning sign. If you do come across it while browsing through a site use caution before enrolling in any "classes".
  • "Tell us about your life experience. Earn a degree today"

    If you come across a site that allows you to purchase a diploma in exchange for life experience, you’re at a degree mill. Period. Some legitimate institutions might allow you to earn credit for a course by testing out of it, but they don’t allow you to submit a two-page summary of ‘qualifying’ life experience and earn a degree overnight.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

11-Yr-Old LeBron James Jr.'s Ballin' Scholarship Offers

June 23, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Following the Cleveland Cavaliers'recent win, LeBron's 11-year-old-son received standing scholarship offers from Duke and Kentucky University. It's never too late to start early, so check out some of these sports scholarships if you have a love for sports and wish to get paid to play: Jay Cutler Athletic Scholarship Deadline: April 15 [...]

Atheist Scholarships Not Welcome in CA School District

June 21, 2016

by Susan Dutca

California's Antelope Valley School District banned atheist scholarships from being listed on student publications and must now pay $10,000 in legal fees. They claimed it would upset parents, "promote anti-religious expression," and have "argumentative" and "aggressive undertones." Freethinkers instead saw it as anti-atheist prejudice. The district was sued by FFRF for refusing to allow [...]

Celebrate LGBT Pride Month with Scholarships

June 16, 2016

by Susan Dutca

June is LGBT Pride Month, and though we are already more than halfway through, there is still enough time to apply for scholarships! Check out these scholarships exclusive to LGBT youth, supporters and students pursuing higher education: Levin-Goffe Scholarship Fund Deadline: June 22 Maximum Award: $25,000 [...]

Follow Us:

facebook twitter rss feed