Diploma mills undermine education. Many individuals and organizations are impacted by the unsavory business practices diploma mills engage in.
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines a diploma mill as “an institution of higher education operating without supervision of a state or professional agency and granting diplomas which are either fraudulent or because of the lack of proper standards worthless” (http://www.osac.state.or.us).
While on the surface it may seem that few are harmed by the actions of a diploma mill, in reality many people are affected, everyone from the students to legitimate colleges to employers.
*How Students are Done a Disservice
These so-called schools offer prospective students an easy education which is most often simply comprised of accepted students paying some fees and subsequently not really learning anything. Assignments are minimal, if any are given at all. Essentially students are buying these degrees.
While this may seem appealing to some, in reality students are simply paying for a piece of paper which they may be able to skate by for a short while, but most in society are becoming aware of known diploma mills and as a result, credentials are checked.
In the end graduates of the diploma mills often end up paying a lot more than they’d bargained for when they find their fake credentials aren’t worth a whole lot in the educational or job markets. Saving a few bucks for a degree in the long run probably turns out to be a waste of money.
*How Diploma Mills Impact other Colleges
Students are not the only ones who lose out due to the actions of diploma mills. Other educational facilities lose out as well.
Legitimate colleges, universities and technical schools lose enrollment when hopeful students are lured to the clever marketing of diploma mill operations. In some markets, this is an issue as colleges compete for student enrollment and lose out to the “easy way out” at a cheaper costs that diploma mills offer.
In addition, students pursuing legitimate degrees lose out if classes are cancelled due to low enrollment numbers. As an effort to cut the cost of overhead, colleges frequently need to cancel classes that don’t at least cover costs to run the class, and when would-be students decide to sign up at a diploma mill, these are enrollments that could have helped fill classes at legitimate institutions.
*Employers and Colleagues are Affected Too
When individuals list their doctored credentials on resumes, sometimes this does get by the initial hiring procedures and people with diploma mill papers are hired. In the long run this hurts companies because these employees are not equipped with the knowledge or skills required to handle the job.
Also, as a result, other potential and qualified job applicants lose out on the jobs to those who really didn’t earn their degrees. Colleagues are forced to pick up the slack for those not prepped for the job and employers end up wasting their resources on an employee not qualified for the job.
While not everyone who signs up for a diploma mill realizes they aren’t signing up for an accredited and/or legitimately recognized program, there are some people who do.
However, for those who are truly interested in pursuing a legitimate degree and may not be sure how to avoid a diploma mill, it is a good idea to learn how to differentiate. Basically if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
In this link are a few tips to help determine signs on whether or not the college being considered is a diploma mill.
Diploma mills serve no good to anyone except the fraudsters behind the schemes, but the first step is to know what to look for and have a solid understanding about what diploma mills are will help you avoid them when seeking schools to obtain higher education.