Distance learning provides a continuing method of working and taking classes towards a degree without the need to leave your home. Not all online degree programs, however, are reputable. Some of these universities, commonly referred to as diploma mills, offer little to no educational value. Checking the accreditation of the institution provides the best method for determining the legitimacy of any university. To understand more about reputable online universities, there are several warning signs of a potential scam. The first step is checking to see if the university holds proper accreditation when considering an online university. You don’t have to take the university’s word for it or trust an admissions representative who states that a foreign university can’t receive accreditation in USA. Chances are high accreditation of the universities is not legitimate in case they are ineligible to participate in federal financial aid programs. Schools are not required to pursue accreditation. A school offering reputable programs may not have accreditation because of this. The authenticity of a school, however, may be verified in other ways. Your first step should be contacting the higher education agency in the school’s state. It has information about reputable online universities and can tell you if a university has any complaints or lacks a legitimate charter.

Reputable online universities

Admission criteria is the third sign about if online universities are reputable. The university is not reputable in case the sole requirement to obtain a degree involves submitting a credit card and paying a fee. Experience alone never fulfills the requirements for a degree program, while credit for work experience does exist at some legitimate colleges. There are honorary awards and applicants do not apply or pay for the degree although accredited universities can grant honorary doctoral degrees for exemplary work and careers. Be wary of any school that grants diploma thirty days or so after the receipt of payment and schools that are not located within the United States. The last warning sign is school criteria. Distance learning universities are not reputable in all the cases when they do not have course catalogs, legitimate online courses and program catalogs. You must complete courses with faculty that have at least a bachelor’s degree and most reputable online universities consider a master’s degree the minimum qualification to teach. Do not trust the universities that don’t have a list of faculty or that provide falsified lists of faculty that do not actually work at the school. Furthermore universities change per credit or per course fees. Chances are you are dealing with an illegitimate school if you are told you can get a degree for a flat rate. Also beware of universities that claim accreditation but are not accredited by a legitimate organization. Many of the diploma mills create their own accrediting agencies to falsely claim accreditation. Earning a degree from a non-accredited university can prevent you from getting the proper credentials to work in some fields and may bar you from professional, while some new schools are in the process of seeking accreditation.