How to Detect Diploma Mills Warning Signs

Diploma mills or sometime known as degree mills are the companies that award academic degrees and diplomas with minimum or zero academic study, and without the recognition by Department of Education. Degrees that offered by diploma mills have no values and are unaccepted in the job market. So, you should avoid earning your degree from diploma mill with your best efforts. Here are some tips to detect any potential scam activities perform by diploma mills and you should put yourself into high alert condition if you seen these signs.

Sign #1: Extreme promises about the degree program

If you have seen any marketing advertisement on degree programs that give extreme promises that seem to be too good to be believed; then, it better to ignore it than taking the risks to sign up with the program. After seeing these marketing ads, you may send email to the school to request for further information. If the school bombard you with emails that gives various guarantees that seem to be extremely benefit you for the purpose to get you sign up with their degree program. Don’t rush to make up your decision. You must verify the information before you sign up the program. If you find any doubt then just ignore this degree program because there are many legitimate schools offering the same degree program.

Sign #2: You are asked to pay your tuition fee in single bill

Most of degree program’s tuition fees are based on the credit hours and payment are made in progressive manner based on semesters. If you are asked to pay in a single bill for the degree program you are sign up with, you should immediately put yourself in high alert and beware that the school might be a diploma mill.

Sign #3: The school website does not have contact information

If a school is legitimate and properly registered to offer accredited degree program, it normally will display all it contact information such a phone and address on other website to ease for enquiry, else it may be a diploma mill that does not want you to be able to contact them. If you find that a school website does not display any contact information, then it’s better to ignore than risking yourself to fall into the trap of diploma mill.

Sign #4: The school address is a P.O Number

You better also watch out if the school address is a P.O number. It’s a clear signal of diploma mill. Some legitimate schools will ask you to send your enquiry or admission form to a P.O number for easy of management but they will display their physical address and contact information as well.

Sign #5: The school is not accredited by any accreditation agency

Although not all unaccredited schools are diploma mills because there might be new schools which still undergo the accreditation process and they cannot claim to be accredited until they are certified by the accreditation agency which is recognized by the Department of Education. You should always beware of unaccredited schools and if you are unsure that the school is offering legitimate degree program, don’t sign up any their degree program. The rules of thumb is always put a priority on degree program offered by accredited school with a good reputation because you want your degree to be accepted without any doubt by your future employer.

Sign #6: Claim accreditation from accrediting agency that is not recognized by Department of Education

Here is always the trap set up by diploma mills. Diploma mills know that many people are aware about the important of accreditation and if they do not claim accreditation, they will be out of business. Hence, in order to increase the confident of their victims that they are offering legitimate degree program, they claim that their school and degree programs are accredited. The different is the accrediting agency which accrediting the school is an organization that is not recognized by Department of Education. Hence, you must check accreditation agency against the accreditation database approved by Department of Education at

Sign #7: The school has name that is similar to popular legitimate school

Some diploma mills try to confuse you with the school name or website domain’s name that sound similar to the highly reputable accredited schools. The name might have one character different or same domain name but different domain extension. You must be very careful to ensure that the school name is spell correctly and the domain name is exactly belongs to the legitimate accredited school.


Diploma mills are trying the best to squeeze your money with their fake degree, you must be sensitive enough to detect any potential diploma mill signals and avoid yourself being scam by them.