Where Can I Find Information Regarding a School’s Accreditation to Avoid Attending a Degree Mill?

All students should locate information regarding a school’s accreditation before submitting an application for admission. While many schools are legitimate and offer high-quality degree programs, there are establishments that are referred to as degree mills that operate strictly to get your money and take advantage of you. These degree mills, while they do offer some type of training to appear to be legitimate, are not accredited. Instead, they will claim that they have accreditation or credentials from an agency that they create to look reputable and attract students.

The degrees earned at these degree mill institutions can rarely be used for good. In fact, many students dig themselves deep into debt earning a degree to find that employers will not recognize it. Luckily, to avoid earning a useless degree from a fraudulent company, there are ways to verify that a school is accredited with a reputable third-party agency. Here are some of the ways that you can verify a school offers genuine degrees that you can use in your career.

Finding Schools That Are Regionally Accredited

There is more than one type of accreditation, and understanding this is very important when you are trying to choose a school. One of the most effective ways to verify that a school is legitimate is to check if it has a regional accreditation. This means that one of the six regional bodies has granted the school an accreditation for meeting strict higher education standards. To determine if a school has a regional accreditation with one of the 6 accrediting organizations you can use a searching tool through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Tools available through the CHEA includes a list of more than 8000 different institutions that have been accredited by a body that is recognized by the council. This means that the accreditation is legitimate and not just made up.

Why You Should Not Trust a School’s Website Information Alone

Many students assume that they can just visit a school’s website and review information on the school that is printed on the website to determine if the school is a good choice. While institutions that are legitimate would never falsely claim accreditation, diploma mills are known for posting accreditation credentials that are made up to attract students. Remember the fact that anyone has the ability to make their own website and create their own icons. Just because a seal looks official does not mean that it is. If you are not sure about the council or agency that a school is affiliated with, do your homework. Verify the organization through government sites like the U.S Department of Education, and you will not make a bad decision.

The Internet makes verifying information easier than ever. While this is true, the Internet has also become a poisonous pit where fake school’s can take money from students by luring them in. You need to avoid these diploma mills by taking the time to do some homework before you enroll in class. Make sure that you use tools to your advantage, and check valid information regarding a school’s accreditation instead of trusting information designed to mislead.