Without regional accreditation, colleges and universities might not approve of your diploma. They might feel it is not legitimate. Some of them migth even require the student to take additional courses just to prove their credibility in a standardized test. Keep a safe distance from unaccredited online high school or diploma mills.
What is a Diploma Mill?
A diploma mill or a degree mill is an organization that sells fake or meritless diplomas or academic degrees just with the intention to make a profit. It does not require any serious academic achievement or study. Certain countries even consider carrying such a degree as illegal.
Diploma mills can be in many forms. They might vary from fully-fledged diploma production lines to small-scale internet traders. Diploma mills lessen the effectiveness of real degrees. This concerns educational institutions as well as students and parents. The worst scenario is one where you potentially compete with people who have just bought the same type of degrees. Moreover, certain times employers might end up hiring candidates with an illegally obtained degree.
How do you Recognize a Diploma Mill?
You need to be alert in observing a red flag when it comes to sorting out the genuine online high schools among the lot. Here are certain factors that you should keep in mind while differentiating accredited online high schools from diploma mills:
- In case of a diploma mill, the address is a post office box, a suite number or a mail drop
- The phone number that is provided in the diploma mill’s website puts you through to a call center, an answering machine or a mobile phone
- You might come across a sample copy of the degree on the website
- The education that you are offered are based on life experience and the programs are mostly offered through distance learning
- It might be stated in the website that the institute is accredited. All the accrediting agencies might belong to an individual state in the US in that case, Wyoming and Montana being the most popular ones in this context.
Consider the above points as indicators of fake institutions. Keep away from these institutions as getting enrolled in these diploma mills result into sheer waste of time and energy.
Common Myth Related to Online Learning
Online high schools are a blessing to students who travel, have medical problems, or are training or auditioning. However, for a certain category of parents and students, one of the biggest concerns of studying in an online high school is that whether the diploma received shall be accepted by the colleges or employers or not. This is the biggest worry of all that they dwell upon and stop themselves or their children from pursuing education online.
The truth is that while reviewing applications, colleges usually do not distinguish between the diplomas received from online high schools and traditional high schools. What matters more to the college admissions officer is that the student holds a high school diploma from a genuine regionally accredited high school. They generally verify the criteria for admission set by the specific school such as the number of credit hours completed in math, science, languages and electives. They mainly look for a rigorous curriculum that has truly challenged the student. In fact, an online high school diploma gives a student an advantage pertaining to the fact that the student has availed the option to take electives that might not be offered in traditional high schools. After all, online high schools do offer many exclusive courses such as foreign languages or arts or challenging life science courses. Colleges care about consistent good grades and a foolproof evidence that proves the student is a hard worker. They specially take note of students who improve their grades every semester. Admissions officer also looks at what the students do outside of school, like part-time jobs, athletic training, training for singing etc.
So, one need not worry about the fact whether an online diploma shall be considered by a topmost college or not. All that matters is the tag of regional accreditation. College admissions officers hardly pay any attention to the fact whether the school is a bricks and mortar school or an online one, provided it challenged the student in an effective way. The major determining factors for college admissions officers are grades, test scores, community service, work and life experience etc. After all, they intend to get those students admitted to their college who they feel are a perfect match for their college-level work.
Why Forest Trail Academy?
Forest Trail Academy is an online school that is accredited both regionally and nationally. This online high school is accredited by well-reputed accreditors such as :
- The Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI)
- Middle States Association – commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA CESS)
- Accreditation International (Ai)
- The National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA)
Moreover, this school is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. It has successfully maintained an A rating since a long time.
Offering an extensive variety of accredited online high school courses, this school make sure that all of its courses can be individualized as per the student needs. Being a regionally, nationally and internationally accredited online high school, Forest Trail academy allows students from all over USA to apply for its courses.