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Is there such thing as a budget diploma?

Getting a university education is a costly endeavor. Studies show that, although the United States remains international students’ top choice for university options, it is the most expensive one: parents have to contribute an average of US$58,464 per year for a university degree. In other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, these figures are less. For example, in Canada, the cost of university per year for an international student is CA$27,159 (~US$20,600), less than half of what it costs to do university in the United States. This is because universities in Canada are subsidized by the government, the same case as in the United Kingdom. Here, the cost of studying at university for an international student is “between £10,000 and £35,000 annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees.” The price can be comparable to studying in the United States. With such an expensive higher education panorama, for international and domestic students, many individuals decide to forgo university altogether.

An university education can open doors, but as the figures above show, it is not always within everyone’s reach. One way in which one can make up for the lack of a university degree is to order a budget diploma!

What is a budget diploma?

What would certainly be cheaper than a real diploma is a fake diploma. Many could call that a diploma on a budget. A fake document such as this is a piece of paper bought either online or from a brick-and-mortar shop that replicates the look and feel of the real university diploma, degree, or certificate. This diploma is not obtained from an accredited two- or four-year institution or graduate school; rather, the diploma is meant as a fun memento or decorative document that looks like a real university diploma. Budget diplomas are not meant for career purposes: you should not obtain this type of paper as a falsification of university credentials or to pose as someone you are not. This is the type of novelty item that can help your self-esteem if you are feeling that your lack of a university education makes it difficult to relate to others or to feel a sense of personal and professional accomplishment.

The fake diploma business is very popular. It is estimated to be worth around $500 million per year; this is a testament to the popularity of university degrees! There are numerous diploma-producing businesses online because of the high turnover. This is despite the popularity of online learning and online degrees from accredited institutions and MOOC websites, such as Coursera. Thanks to the advent of technology, it is possible to obtain a university degree, diploma, or certificate entirely online from a reputable school. The prices for online-based education are lower because they are only the price of tuition and enrollment, so the student does not need to factor in room and board, as they would do in a traditional university. There are even several online degree programs that offer financial assistance and scholarships for those students who qualify.

However, the explosion of online degrees has given way to the establishment of fake online schools, often called diploma mills. These schools claim that they will give you a real education for an often high tuition rate, but the school itself is not accredited by the Middle States School Association and/or other higher education accrediting bodies. Always do your research online and off if you are planning to enroll at an online degree program.