Truth in Advertising


If you’re anything like me, you typically mass delete the dozen or so spam emails in your inbox every morning without looking too closely at them.  I do, however, briefly calculate how many of those emails are from diploma mills as that is a topic we frequently write about.  I would say I receive no less than five “buy your degree” emails per day.  One in particular caught my eye this morning which caused that old Sesame Street song to get stuck in my head:

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Let’s see if you can pinpoint what seems out of place in this email:

Subject:  Diplomas for everybody.

GET YOUR DIPLOMA TODAY!If you are looking for a fast and effective way to get a diploma,(non accredited) this is the best way out for you. Provide us with degree you are interested in. Call us right now on: For US: XXX.XXX.XXXX Outside US: +1.XXX.XXX.XXXX”Just leave your NAME & PHONE NO. (with Country Code)” in the voicemail. Our staff will get back to you in next few days!

If you guessed the term “non-accredited”, then you are spot on!

The fact that the company offering me the opportunity to “earn” this diploma is blatantly stating their organization is non-accredited is surprising to me.  Some diploma mills have gone as far as creating fake accrediting agencies to make their product look legitimate to their buyer as well as anyone looking to verify it.  Maybe this company thought it wasn’t worth the trouble…

For those positions that require a certain level of education, it is important for employers to distinguish whether the person they are looking to hire has a degree from an accredited school or evaluate if the non-accredited institution taught the skills needed for the job.  It is important to point out that the terms “non-accredited” and “diploma mill” may not be synonymous 100% of the time as there may be schools that lack accreditation but still provide a sufficient standard of quality education.  But certainly more often than not, when you see the term “non-accredited”, it will mean diploma mill (as is the case here).

For more information and coverage regarding diploma mills, click here.

And because I can’t resist…

Sesame Street: Cookie Monster’s Sorting Song