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ERIC Number: ED496044
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 198
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Bogus Degrees and Unmet Expectations: Are Taxpayer Dollars Subsidizing Diploma Mills? Hearings before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Second Session (May 11 and 12, 2004) S. Hrg. 108-553
US Senate
The purpose of these hearings was to explore the problems that unaccredited, substandard colleges and universities, often referred to as diploma mills, pose to the Federal Government and to private-sector employers. The schools examined during these hearings practice a sophisticated form of deception and they charge students accordingly. All of the schools we investigated gave credit for prior work or life experience, even for advanced degrees, which is very rare among accredited institutions. One institution's list of life experiences that could qualify for academic credit included horseback riding, playing golf, pressing flowers, serving on a jury, and planning a trip. The schools examined also required their students to do some modicum of work, either tests or papers or both, and they at least give the impression that the school includes professors with suitable academic credentials who actually play a role in the school's academic programs. The danger of these more sophisticated diploma mills is that they can attract a far broader range of students. The schools investigated take pains to try to convince prospective students that they are legitimate and that students have to earn their degrees. That is why a healthy dose of credit for work and life experience becomes such a critical component of their business model. That is what permits these more sophisticated diploma mills to assume an air of legitimacy while minimizing the actual amount of work required. During the two days of these hearings, the focus was on the challenges posed by diploma mills to the Federal Government. Opening statements at the hearings were provided by: Senators Collins; Akaka; Lautenberg; Carper; Durbin; Lieberman; and Pryor. Witnesses provided testimonies and prepared statements on both days of the hearings. An appendix presents: (1) memorandum dated April 15, 2004; and (2) questions and responses for the record from various participants. (Contains 31 exhibits.)
US Senate. Available from: U.S. Government Printing Office, 732 N. Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20401. Tel: 866-512-1800; Fax: 202-512-2104; Web site:
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.
Identifiers - Location: United States