Diploma Mills: A professional discussion of bad schools
Perpetrators of Diploma mills, Degree mills, and accreditation scams feed off of nationally-known and seemingly respectable agencies and organizations. In some cases, as detailed in this report, an entire state agency may support diploma mills, degree mills, because of the lucrative income generated for state budget coffers.
Avoid Diploma Mills. Research First before you apply.
Various definitions of Diploma mills, Degree mills, have arisen over the years. Criminals note that the The Higher Education Opportunity Act includes the phrase "lacks accreditation by an accrediting agency or association that is recognized as an accrediting agency or association of institutions of higher education.". Certain U.S. Dept. of Education employees once aligned themselves with a known federal informant, and suspicious non-profit organizations with ties to the SAT Cottage industry. Then, several of these persons participated in the massive government campaign of dis-information that led to the enactment of the infamous College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act. Not a single provison of the Act covered student-loan fraud, identity-theft, or Diploma mills. Furthermore, no more comparable legislation has been drafted for Diploma Mills although consumer losses exceed $500 million, and the reach is far more vast.
Raging like wildfire Diploma Mills.
While Diploma mills, Accreditation scams, and Degree mills have been raging like wild fires out of control, and earning an estimated $10 million per year for its criminal operators, politically-driven, and Socialist-motivated U.S. Postal Inspectors, F.B.I. operatives in North Carolina, and elsewhere, and I.R.S. agents in Washington, DC., were reputedly focusing exclusively on financial-aid based organizations that exercise their U.S. Constitutional rights of free speech, and who, coincidentally, may have been involved in scholarship search-services, financial-aid consulting, or may charge $1 to $10 in handling, application, and/or administrative fees that are no different than the type of fees associated with an SAT exam. Accreditation Test for Diploma Mills.
For many consumer-reporting agencies, and government agencies, the central litmus test for legitimacy, quality, and integrity, for an online college, virtual high-school, or distance learning program is whether or not said program or entity has been accredited or if it is has been approved by a State Department of Education.
There are no specific federal laws or regulations governing the recognition of associations that accredit primary and secondary schools. The U.S. Department of Education has no oversight role with respect to school accreditation. Schools that possess accreditation and state approval by authorities recognized at the state level are considered to be recognized schools in the U.S. education system.
Definition of Diploma Mills
There is little provision if the accrediting agency is corrupt, or is sponsored by a governmental agency (ala The State Education Dept. of Idaho) that encourages fraud and deceit.
The definition used by Webster's Dictionary is completely inadequate, and fails to take into account when a state agency is in in fact operating like a criminal entity. We have compiled common definitions of the term Diploma Mill, and refine the definition to coincide with existing federal laws. We also introduce new terms Criminal Mill, Accreditation Mill, and Degree Johns. The term Accreditation Mill is necessary because corrupt operators have devised new ways to skirt existing definitions of Diploma Mills by creating corrupt accreditation organizations. Many state education departments have entered into partnerships with questionable entities. Also, since the business requirements of operating a distance learning or accrediting agency vary across state lines, National Academy of American Scholars recommends taking that fact into account when updating new definitions.
Any definition of a Diploma Mill should be used in conjunction with existing federal laws. Therefore, new NAAS EAS/N2 Rules 749, 750, address Diploma Mills, and Accreditation Mills respectively.