In a world of increasing competition for decent jobs, degrees have become more important than ever to increase an individual’s chance at improving their careers. Postsecondary studies are more popular than ever: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 33% of Americans aged 25 or over have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. That is the largest number of Americans to ever hold a college degree. Another statistic shows that adults in the United States who hold a college degree earn, on average, twice the amount of annual wages than those who have only a high school diploma. Such staggering statistics are evidence of the value that a college degree has for employers. This is why there has been a substantial growth in the amount of faux diplomas bought and sold.
What is a Faux Diploma?
A faux diploma is a diploma bought from an unaccredited institution or website. These diplomas are not given based on the completion of an accredited postsecondary study program. More often than not, they are the product of websites that claim to be accredited online schools and that require little to no instruction work from students. They often don’t impart courses or have a defined curriculum listed on their websites. Sometimes, they can claim to give you a degree based on your “life experience.” People looking to improve their financial and professional situations, those who cannot afford to attend a traditional postsecondary institution, and those who are required a college diploma to keep their jobs or get new ones are vulnerable to this type of fraud.
Faux diplomas come in a variety of ways.
Sometimes, they replicate the name of an accredited school but the individual listed in the diploma never attended this institution. Other times, the institution is not accredited but it issuing a diploma to a paying individual under the impression that the course of study they paid for is accredited. In both cases, faux diplomas have no legal standing. They are not legally-issued documents.
Individuals who have faux diplomas could get into legal and professional trouble. Once an employer discovers that the diploma is fake, the individual can lose his or her job and can be permanently stigmatized. Holding a faux diploma from a fake university or diploma mill can ruin a person’s reputation because they have claimed that they hold a degree and an expertise that they do not hold in actuality.