What is a “diploma mill”?
As higher education becomes more of a determining factor in one’s eligibility for certain jobs, some applicants are looking for shortcuts to remain competitive in the marketplace. This has led, in turn, to a proliferation of so-called “diploma mills” where you can earn the appropriate certification or degree based on how much you are willing to pay. These institutions’ philosophies are that people should be able to use their “relevant knowledge” and life experiences to earn a degree.
Additionally, the Higher Education Opportunity Act defines a “diploma mill” as an entity that–(A)(i) offers, for a fee, degrees, diplomas, or certificates, that may be used to represent to the general public that the individual possessing such a degree, diploma, or certificate has completed a program of post-secondary education or training; and (ii) requires such individual to complete little or no education or coursework to obtain such degree, diploma, or certificate; and(B) lacks accreditation by an accrediting agency or association that is recognized as an accrediting agency or association of institutions of higher education (as such term is defined in section 102) by–(i) the Secretary pursuant to sub-part 2 of part H of title IV; or (ii) a Federal agency, State government, or other organization or association that recognizes accrediting agencies or associations.
Learn more about why diploma mills are a growing liability for employers.