High School Diploma Mills

Jason Morris

marinhighschoolgradsMaybe we should adjust the White Paper we just released on Diploma Mills to include High Schools!  This of course doesn’t surprise me at all but the article highlights an even more important need for quality background screening. Now these are not the traditional types of scams that we have written about in the past but very serious nonetheless.

Government Investigates High School Diploma Mills

An undercover investigation found students were given answers to the tests needed to enroll in college

Government investigators are pursuing high school diploma mills, which, for a fee, give high school dropouts diplomas or answers to the tests that enable them to enroll in college and qualify for federal financial aid.

In testimony before a congressional panel on Wednesday, George Scott, a director of the Education, Workforce, and Income Security division of the Government Accountability Office, played secretly made audiotapes of a test proctor apparently giving students the answers to college-qualifying tests.

The tapes were made by investigators looking into for-profit colleges. Scott said the investigators walked into Washington, D.C.-area offices of a publicly traded for-profit college and told the admissions officers that they did not have high school diplomas but wanted to enroll. Scott did not identify the colleges or testing companies his agency investigated.

Normally, colleges don’t admit students who haven’t graduated from high school. To qualify for federal financial aid, students without diplomas or GED certifications must pass tests to show they have enough language and math skills to ensure their “ability to benefit” (often abbreviated as “ATB”) from a college education. ATB tests are supposed to be given by companies or proctors who have no connections to colleges, so that there is no incentive to improperly pass students.

But the college under investigation, apparently eager to get more paying students, directed the agents to a test center at which a proctor gave answers to three of 10 questions.


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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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