Diploma Mills: The Scourge of Employers and Education Verification, and an Increasing Risk, states CriminalBackgroundRecords.com
Increasingly employers demand a valid Bachelor's degree in order to gain employment and, combined with increasing cost of such degrees, many individuals are taking shortcuts by utilizing quick and easy degrees from on-line sources. Often illegitimate and unaccredited, "diploma mills" have proven to be easy money at the expense of employer and employee, and the escalating scourge of employment verification, states Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com.
Getting a college diploma and subsequent degree is not cheap.
In its most recent survey of college pricing, the College Board reports that a "moderate" college budget for an in-state public college for the 2013–2014 academic year averaged $22,826. A moderate budget at a private college averaged $44,750. http://www.collegedata.com/cs/content/content_payarticle_tmpl.jhtml?articleId=10064
Combine the price tag of higher education with the demand for a bachelor's degree by most employers, one might be tempted to take a shortcut to obtain the vaunted sheepskin.
More than ever there are thousands of on-line opportunities to gain a legitimate four-year degree. With Internet access nearly ubiquitous, anyone can gain access to an education beyond a high school diploma. But buyer beware: With every legitimate educational on-line degree there are disreputable and, often times, unaccredited degrees from on-line purveyors of easy educational diplomas. These shady institutions of higher education are called diploma mills.
USLegal.com defines diploma mills thusly:
(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 postsecondary 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 [20 USCS § 1002]) by--
(i) the Secretary pursuant to subpart 2 of part H of title IV [20 USCS § 1099b]; or
(ii) a Federal agency, State government, or other organization or association that recognizes accrediting agencies or associations.” http://definitions.uslegal.com/d/diploma-mill/
Diploma mills will remain popular, not only for students but also for disreputable operators as a diploma mill can be big money.
From www.NBCConnecticut.com (May 08, 14):
Officials ... and an accomplice created seven different “school” Web sites where buyers could purchase fake degrees. All it took was a few keystrokes and a few hundred dollars – degree packages sold for between $475 and $550. http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/cromwell-diploma-fraud-fake-education-degree-charges-255589041.html
It doesn't take much from profits to skyrocket.
Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: "With people being desperate to get diplomas for the lowest cost and in the shortest amount of time, owners of diploma mills play right into their hands. But people don't often realize that employer's are ever more aware of diploma mills and conduct thorough background checks which often include education verification."
However, just as employer's are maintaining a diligent approach to ensure the legitimacy of diplomas, diploma mill operators are attempting to stay one step ahead.
From www.NBCConnecticut.com (May 08, 14):
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ... falsified transcripts with detailed course work and created a fake verification service in case employers probed the buyer’s background. http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/cromwell-diploma-fraud-fake-education-degree-charges-255589041.html
Almeida adds: "Thanks to governmental efforts and the work of third-party background screening companies, fake or illegitimate diplomas are discovered."
In Lakeland, Florida a professor at Polk State College is "accused of being a fraud, teaching with a fake diploma." http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/2014/05/22/polk-state-college-fake-professor/9472945/
From www.FirstCoastNews.com (May 05, 14):
10 News tried to talk to college administrators on camera, but instead, got an email saying ... was placed on administrative leave May 1, that the school has changed its hiring procedures and will use a third party to verify academic degrees, and that student grades will not be affected. http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/2014/05/22/polk-state-college-fake-professor/9472945/
Almeida states: "Diploma mills will remain the scourge of employer's as they try to verify education. As the cost of education increases along with the demand for a four-year degree by companies, individuals will continue to take shortcuts. And these phony diploma's can and will show up in all segments of employment, from college professors to government officials to corporations and companies. Working with a third-party background screening company is really the best practice."
CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening company with a long history of working with companies and organizations on all background screening requirements, including education verification. Contact CriminalBackgroundRecords.com to build a program that will protect organizations and companies from phony diplomas.
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