Degree & Accreditation Mills

In the quest for higher education and training, prospective students in the United States sometimes encounter "degree mills"-- dubious operations that offer certification and/or degrees that are considered fraudulent. They may also encounter "accreditation mills"--organizations that provide accreditation, quality assurance or institutional certifications that are considered fraudulent.

Degree mills and accreditation mills mislead and harm. In the U.S., accredited educational institutions may not acknowledge degrees and certificates from non-accredited institutions, meaning some students may find themselves unable to transfer or attend graduate school. In addition, employers may not acknowledge degrees and certificates from degree mills when considering job candidates. And in addition, many organizations will not offer tuition assistance or reimbursement to employees who have taken continuing education courses offered by mills.

“Mills” are an international problem. U.S. degree mills and accreditation mills that have become items for export cast doubt on the reliability of legitimate degrees and accreditation. Students from outside the U.S. can be vulnerable because they have limited information and experience by which to judge whether or not a U.S. operation is a "mill."