Diploma mills in the United States

Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization that awards academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without academic approval by officially recognized educational accrediting bodies or qualified government agencies. The purchaser can then claim to hold an academic degree, and the organization is motivated by making a profit. These degrees are often awarded based on vaguely construed life experience. Some organizations claim accreditation by non-recognized/unapproved accrediting bodies set up for the purposes of providing a veneer of authenticity.

Various schemes have been implemented to curb the proliferation of diploma mills, and a number of states have passed bills that make it illegal for an organization to confer degrees without accreditation.

In recent years unaccredited for-profit higher education institutions have specialized in enrolling foreign students and have been called sham schools