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Not all College Degrees are Real

Not all College Degrees are Real

Business Wire

December 03, 2009

Rochville University, an online college lacking proper accreditation, awarded an MBA to a dog earlier this year. Yet Rochville diplomas continue to be touted by professionals on the resumes they post to the LinkedIn networking site, warns GetEducated.com.

Besides Rochville, many other online colleges lacking proper accreditation are listed by LinkedIn users on their resumes. Thousands of professionals claim degree mill educations, including: an assistant vice president at Merrill Lynch, a public university language instructor, a consultant forensic psychologist, a NASA systems engineer.

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GetEducated.com is a consumer watchdog focused on distance learning. Earlier this year, to highlight the problem of fake online college degrees, GetEducated’s pug dog mascot, Chester Ludlow, “earned” an MBA from Rochville University for “life experience” — and $499.

About 450 LinkedIn professionals tout diplomas from Rochville. Similarly, about 1,800 LinkedIn users cite online education from Almeda University — cited as a diploma mill by Alan Contreras, head of Oregon’s Office of Degree Authorization.

GetEducated.com founder Vicky Phillips estimates more than 75 percent of people in the United States who buy and brandish fraudulent online degrees know what they are doing.

“A real online MBA costs more than $35,000, but can raise your earning potential by $10,000 per year,” she says. “If you can get a fake MBA for less than $500 and qualify for a $10,000 raise, well, that’s more financial temptation than many can tolerate.”

Employers compound the problem by failing to check whether schools listed on resumes are properly accredited.

“One reason online degree mill mills continue to thrive,” explains Phillips, “is that employers are confused about college accreditation. All degree mills are accredited. The trick is that they are accredited by fake agencies,” agencies that they themselves have created.”

To help employers understand college accreditation, GetEducated.com has developed a free service, the Diploma Mill Police™, that shows how to spot degree mills and avoid online education scams.

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