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Learn About the Dark Side of Online Degrees

Jan 07, 2011 05:37PM ● By Anonymous

It is important to recognize that not all online degree programs are fraudulent, but because there is little hope for those who unknowingly spend money on a degree mill to recoup that expense, please take the following precautions if you have any doubts:

  • Go to the Diploma Mills and Accreditation section of the U.S. Department of Education website to find out if the school is officially accredited and if that accrediting agency is sanctioned.
  • Use the search feature on the Better Business Bureau website to find out if the school is operating legally and if any complaints have been filed.
  • Check with licensing boards, professional associations, and future employers related to your program to see if they recognize the online school and if they will accept a degree from that institution before you enroll.
  • Google your professors to view their biography, professional profile, or portfolio.
  • Use to read student reviews of faculty.

Accreditation is the most important element to look for in any educational institution. It is a sort of third-party seal of approval intended to protect students from fraudulent businesses. However, there is more than one type of accreditation and sometimes diploma mills use loopholes in the system and get accredited. Finding out what kind of accreditation a school has is important because it determines if credits can transfer from one college to another and how much federal student aid is awarded.