dcsimg
You are here:

...BUT IS IT REAL? Five Ways to Tell An Accredited School from the Impostors

So, you think you've found the right online college for you. It fits your budget, seems to suit your needs, and promises you in and out of the program faster than you can say "diploma mill!" But is the school really what it's cracked up to be? How can you tell a real accredited college apart from a scam that will leave you high and dry a year and a good chunk of paycheck later? Here are the top five things that set accredited schools apart from the phonies.

1.Accreditation

This would be the big one. What have all accredited schools got that unaccredited schools haven't got? Authenticity by objective national agencies to ensure a school's meeting of proper standards and provision of a quality education, of course. Sadly, you can't always trust an unaccredited school to own up to their status; to make matters even more complicated, there are different tiers of accreditation ranging from local to state to national (the latter being the kind that really counts).

2.Any Faculty Whatsoever

Real schools pride themselves on putting together enviable teams of staff and administration, and are not hesitant to post at least a sampling (with a nice cross-section of majors) on the school's website. If the school you're looking into can't be bothered to show you who will be providing your education, then they probably aren't really there at all and you would be well-advised in not bothering to attend.

3.Full Time Faculty

Some unaccredited schools boast a faculty fully of professionals currently practicing in their field, giving you the advantage of learning from soldiers in the metaphorical field. The down side to this is that working professionals are often too busy working on their professions to give their students the same kind of one-on-one time and commitment as faculty members devoted to teaching.

4.Physical Address

Does your school have a street address? It should. Online school or not: every legitimate accredited school has physical headquarters for its students and faculty to visit. Any school that can only be reached by P.O. Box or e-mail - or, worse still, an e-mail form built into the site with no discernible address to trace back - is hardly a school at all, and certainly not worth your time or money.

5.An Education

You're supposed to be in college to learn new things, but many fake schools offer diplomas in mere days or weeks, based on assessments of previous life experience. At a flat fee that's often marginally less than accredited college fees, you may be tempted to think that you're saving a wealth of time and money, and sure you are - that is, until you find out that the diploma is little more than a $500 piece of paper with no more professional credibility than a supermarket receipt and you're suddenly back at the starting line.

So, what to do in the face of such uncertainty?

Your best course of action is to get the jump on the imposters, and do a little outside research of your own. Visit a campus if possible. Check into tuition. (Flat fees for diplomas are red flags for sure, as real colleges charge tuition by semester or per class.) Check things out online - the U.S. Department of Education, for example, has a great comprehensive resource page complete with a link to a list of valid national accrediting agencies. Lastly, call up the Better Business Bureau if anything feels at all uncertain. They have the scoop on diploma scams, and it's their business to keep you safe - and when it comes to your education, "better safe than sorry" was never a more appropriate term.

About Get Degrees

Get Degrees�� is one of the most comprehensive online education destinations on the web today. Check out our entire selection of accredited degree programs including mba degrees, business schools, nursing schools, criminal justice schools and more.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Argosy University

    Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges.

    Programs

    • Psychology (BA) (Online)
    • Business Administration - Accounting (BS) (Online)
    • Business Administration - Healthcare Management (BS) (Online)
    • More...
    Location:
    Phoenix: 2233 West Dunlap Ave., Phoenix AZ 85021
    Argosy University Request Info »
  • Full Sail University - Online

    Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

    Programs

    • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
    • Internet Marketing, Master of Science (Online)
    • Music Production, Bachelors of Science (Online)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Full Sail University - Online Request Info »
  • Colorado Technical University Online

    A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
    • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management
    • More...
    Location:
    Colorado Springs: 4435 North Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs CO 80907
    Colorado Technical University Online Request Info »
  • Regent University

    Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

    Programs

    • Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Self-Designed
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Regent University Request Info »
  • University of Maryland at College Park

    Study online with University of Maryland at College Park.

    Programs

    • MBA - Information Systems & Business Analytics
    • MBA - General
    • MBA - Marketing
    • More...
    Location:
    College Park: , College Park MD 20742
    University of Maryland at College Park Request Info »
  • Keiser University

    Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

    Programs

    • Master of Business Administration, MBA - Information Security Management
    • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
    • Master of Business Administration, MBA - International Business
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Keiser University Request Info »
  • Intercoast Colleges

    Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.

    Programs

    • Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies
    • Online Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies

    Location: Online

    Intercoast Colleges Request Info »
  • Villanova University

    Programs

    • Online Master of Laws in Taxation
    • Online Master of Science in Analytics
    • Online Master of Business Administration
    • More...
    Location:
    Villanova: 800 E Lancaster Ave, , Villanova PA 19085
    Villanova University Request Info »
  • Capella University

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.

    Programs

    • MSN - RN-to-MSN Care Coordination (CCNE-accredited)
    • BS - Human Resource Management (ACBSP-accredited)
    • MS - Addiction Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella University Request Info »
  • West Coast University

    Advance your career. 100% Focused on Health Sciences.

    Programs

    • RN to MSN (Online)
    • MSN - Informatics (Online)
    • MSN – Advanced Generalist (Online)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    West Coast University Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.