BBB warns of scams promising easy college diplomas

The Better Business Bureau is warning college students about a scam involving promises of easy diplomas. Here are the red flags.

Advertisements for online college degrees often reel in people with headlines like, “Your diploma is just a click away!” or, “Attend classes on your own time!”

These programs which tend to sound too good to be true are usually too good to be true.

Online “schools” are sometimes called diploma mills, which are businesses that will give you a paper stating you earned a degree instead of giving you an actual education.

It’s fast, easy, and the Better Business Bureau says it’s 100% fake.

Although you’ll have that diploma, there’s a good chance it’s useless.

For example, if the program isn’t from an accredited online school, it won’t be seen as a real degree.

Here’s how to make sure you are getting a valid degree.

First, make sure the online school is accredited.

The Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education should recognize the school.

Visit these websites and search for your school to find its accreditation information.

Although “quick and easy” programs are the ones you’ll want to gravitate toward, those catchy slogans should serve as a red flag.

Also, beware of a program that requires a lot of money upfront. Most colleges will bill you based on the number of credits or courses you take each semester.

A diploma mill usually asks for a flat fee to sign up.

Finally, look for evidence of student services. True colleges will always have student resources.

About the Author:

Jennifer, who anchors The Morning Shows and is part of the I-TEAM, loves working in her hometown of Jacksonville.