With the proliferation of the Internet, there has been an increase in dishonest business practices. When enrolling in an online high school, you need to be careful that you are getting what you think. Diploma mills have become commonplace on the Web. These are companies that offer low-quality, false programs or courses and/or sell you a copy of a diploma or degree with your name on it.
Just as there are many fake schools, there are many legitimate ones as well. Before you enroll in any online school, you should:
1) Find out if the online high school is accredited . This is essential! First, make sure that the school is recognized by the Department of Education. Second, check to see if the school is accredited. Beware: The majority of diploma mills will be accredited. However, you will find that they get their accreditation from a company they created.
2) Watch out for promises of a diploma in a short period of time. If you are promised a diploma in a few short days, it's probably too good to be true.
3) Beware of schools that offer diplomas based simply on life experience. A reputable school is not going to give you a diploma without requiring you to complete any schoolwork.
4) Check with licensing boards and professional associations . Find out if the school is approved and provides an acceptable level of education.
5) Contact the Better Business Bureau . Check to see if the school is operating in a legal manner and if anyone has filed a complaint. Chances are that if the school is a diploma mill, there will be multiple complaints.
6) Determine if the school has a reputable parent company . Many online schools are part of larger companies. If the parent company has been in business for many years and serviced numerous students, there is a greater chance that the school is legitimate.
7) Research the faculty . Find out who teaches the classes, what degrees they have and how long they have been teaching. Be wary of schools that do not have a list of faculty members. Check their credentials!
Beware! Most diploma mills charge a flat fee, require little or no course work, and promise to award a diploma in a short period of time. Fake credentials can compromise your credibility and reputation.
Take pride in your education! Do your homework before you enroll in any online school.
For information on high school homeschooling or additional homeschool resources, please visit http://www.alliedhighschool.com
Heather Brunson is copywriter and editor for Allied Business Schools.