What is a Diploma Mill?
• An illegal operation selling
certificates and/or degrees that require no coursework
• An operation awarding “degrees” for life
What’s wrong with a diploma mill and a fake
• Diploma Mills and fake degrees make all
institutions and degrees suspect.
• Diploma Mills target the less
• Diploma Mills cause employers to waste
time and money verifying degrees.
• Fake degrees are not recognized by the
legitimate institutions when students
request transfer or acceptance to graduate school.
• Employers may not recognize the diploma
for employment or promotions.
How do I identify a Diploma Mill or a fake
• The operation lacks state and/or federal
authority to operate.
• The e-mail address for the operation
changes regularly and cannot be used for
inquiries or other contact.
• The operation provides only a post
office box or telephone number for contact
(the telephone number is usually connected to an answering service
contact within 24 hours).
• A very short period is required to earn
• Very few, if any, assignments are
required to complete a degree.
• Little, if any, class attendance, online
or in person, is required of the student.
What is ADHE doing to prevent Diploma Mills from establishing
operations in the
• Requiring all degree-granting
institutions operating in Arkansas to meet the
standards established for the operation of an institution of
higher education in
Arkansas by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board
• Requiring all degree-granting
institutions to have all degree programs (traditional
delivery and distance delivery) approved by the Coordinating
• Constantly monitoring the operations of
all institutions approved by the
• Investigating reports of non-authorized
institution(s) in the State and providing
information to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office
institution(s) does not comply with Arkansas Rules and
• Working with other states to prevent the
spread of diploma mills.
How can I find out if an institution is approved to offer degree
• The Arkansas Department of Higher
Education maintains a list of the colleges
and universities approved by the Arkansas Higher Education
and authorized by the Director of the Arkansas Department of
to offer degrees to Arkansas citizens. The lists are available
Arkansas Public Colleges and Universities
Non-public and Out-of-State College and
• Contact the Arkansas Department of
Higher Education at (501) 371-2000.
Who do I contact if I think I have been in contact with a Diploma
• The Coordinator for Institutional
Certification (501) 371-2012 or (501) 371-2000.
• Arkansas Attorney General’s Office of
Consumer Protection (501) 682-2007.
More information about Diploma Mills can be found
• The Council for Higher Education
• The United States Department of
• The Federal Trade
• US Department of Labor
• Better Business Bureau
Information on this website was compiled from documents prepared
by the Alabama Commission on Higher
Education, Council for Higher Education Accreditation; Illinois
Board of Higher Education; Kentucky
Community and Technical College System; Oregon Student Assistance
Commission Office of Degree
Authorization; Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board Degree