States: With A Rise in Diploma Mills Employers Should Utilize Education Verification

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In Florida two diploma mills closed down as part of a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of states: "Every day diploma mills continue to mislead thousands of people into thinking there is a quick and easy way to gain accredited diplomas on-line, and it is simply not true."

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Not only is it critical for employment candidates to avoid diploma mills it is critical for employers to conduct education verification to ensure the legitimacy of a diploma.

As diploma mills remain in the news Adam Almeida, President and CEO of urgently recommends employers conduct education verification as part of a thorough pre-employment screening process. Almeida states: "With an increasing requirement of education within the business community, some individuals take short cuts in order to gain employment and utilize diploma mills as a quick means of acquiring a 'diploma.' Phony diplomas are often caught through education verification and an individual caught."

Students need to be cautious when attempting a diploma on-line and, fortunately, there are steps to spot a diploma mill.

From World Education Services (, no date given):

'Some are outright scams that sell degrees or diplomas without requiring any work whatsoever. Others appear more ambiguous in terms of their legitimacy, offering short-term degrees in exchange for some form of academic work, such as a thesis or dissertation.' (1)

Almeida states: "Now more than ever employers in addition to performing criminal background checks should also perform education verifications on all job applicants to help protect the company."

Also, diploma mills are increasingly prevalent with high school diplomas.

From (Jan. 30, 15):

'First, an NBC 6 Investigative producer paid $239 to Nation High School to obtain the diploma. Instead of having to take classes, the company converted her “life experience” into three semesters of classes and credits.' (2)

There are may be legitimate reasons to go to school on-line, especially high school. But with so many fraudulent outlets on-line it might be difficult to sort out the genuine high school outlets versus the diploma mills.

In Florida two diploma mills were forced to close by the Federal Trade Commission.

From (Jan. 31, 15):

'In a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Maria Garcia and Alexander Wolfram and IDM Services, LLC, conducting business as “Jefferson High School Online” and “Enterprise High School Online,” are now banned from marketing and selling academic degrees.' (3)

The old adage goes, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. This certainly holds true with diploma mills.

Almeida states: "Proprietors of diploma mills will also create false accreditation affiliations to further the con."

Key identifiers of a diploma mill include the ability to get "class" credit for life experience and no coursework.

From (Jan. 30, 15):

"...Further examination by college officials turned up another clue that the documents were bogus. Neither the diploma nor the transcripts had the school’s contact information or website url." (4)

Ultimately, the risk of getting caught with a bogus diploma remains very high and the consequences could be disastrous. The financial cost of the diploma is only one aspect.

From (Oct. 07, 14):

"For potential employers, it’s never been easier to check on specific degree-granting institutions. The Internet has made it easier for diploma mills to switch aliases, but it’s also made the individual lifespan of those aliases much shorter." (5)

Almeida states: "Ultimately, employers should include professional education verification as part of employment screening policies. Completing an education verification in the pre-employment screening process may assist in weeding out applicants potentially providing false information on a resume." is a third party background screening company with a highly trained staff ready to assist companies and organizations with expanded requirements as mandated by law. Further, can provide education verification from institutions large and small, and assist in the validation of facts contained within a resume.



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