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Accreditation & Diploma Mills Federal, State, International, and Other Resources

With the growth of online opportunities enabled by the Internet and the growing popularity of such offerings, unfortunately, there has been an increase in outright fraud and a proliferation of degree or diploma mills and unaccredited institutions.
So how do you find a legitimate distance learning opportunity in higher education?

There are a number of resources available on this website and elsewhere on the Internet, such as How to Identify and Avoid Fake Online Degrees from, to help you get started in recognizing warning signs.

FIRST... After familiarizing yourself with some of the warning signs, perform a web search or find the names and locations of institutions which seem to be offering what you're looking for from print advertisements, friends, colleagues, or other sources.

NEXT... Use the online databases of recognized accredited colleges and universities provided by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to determine if a school is accredited by an approved accreditor. 

Be sure to carefully examine the search results, if any. Many "mills" adopt names that are similar to those of legitimate, accredited institutions, but are often located in different cities and/or states. For instance, "The University of Berkley" which operated from Pennsylvania rather than the well-known University of California, Berkeley.

FINALLY... If you will be seeking to use the degree in connection with a licensed occupation or profession in New Jersey, make sure that the accreditation is from an accreditor acceptable to the licensing authority. For instance, the New Jersey Department of Education's regulations require that credits and degrees be earned from Regionally Accredited colleges or universities. See Regional Accreditation of a College or University on the Department's web site or view the list of recognized regional accreditors.

The Diploma Mill PoliceSM is a free service offered by This free service protected more than 4,000 potential online learners from online college fraud last year. "Newsweek" lauds the Diploma Mill Police as "the source for weeding out phonies among online degrees." Don't get scammed by one of the more than 200 fake distance colleges. Submit the name of any online university operating in the USA to the Diploma Mill Police. Learn if that college is a valid accredited institution. All queries confidential. Your name and email will never be sold by this educational clearinghouse.

The NJ Commission on Higher Education makes no representations as to this service and always encourages potential students to verify the accreditation status of an institution using the online databases of recognized accredited colleges and universities provided by the U.S. Secretary of Educationand the Council for Higher Education Accreditationto determine if a school is accredited by an approved accreditor.

- Return to main Accreditation & Diploma Mills page -

Last Updated: Friday, 09/13/13

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