Wondering if the accredited online high school diploma program you’re considering is all it claims to be? Unfortunately, not all virtual programs are legitimate. So how can you verify a school’s credentials? Look for these three signs.
1. You Can Pinpoint Its Location and Credentials
An accredited online high school diploma program should be transparent in relaying basic information such as:
- Name and Address: According to Tim Willard, spokesman for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, students should be leery if a school doesn’t provide a business or campus address. Leah Matthews, executive director of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, reports that, if the name of a program seems vaguely familiar and resembles that of a prestigious school, it probably doesn’t issue valid credentials.
- Website: Some illegitimate programs will actually create two websites. One looks professional, while the other is sloppy and full of errors. Fraudulent institutions actually do this to make the “professional” site look legit, when both are a hoax.
- Accreditation Status: If you’re not sure of a school’s legitimacy, you can contact the agency it claims to be accredited by.
Even when a school is accredited, the agency behind the credential may have a poor reputation, which can affect the validity of your diploma.
2. Up-Front Costs Are Reasonable
A school that asks for a lot of money up-front most likely has not been issued a seal of approval by a reputable accrediting agency. A legitimate school will only ask you to pay for the courses you’re currently taking.
3. Students Have Access to Rigorous Coursework and Resources
Some programs look “too good to be true” in that they seem to grant students a credential without requiring much work from them. When you enroll, you may be asked simply to take a test or complete a bare minimum of coursework. These “diploma mills” issue credentials in exchange for money, leaving you with a useless piece of paper.
A lack of student services can also indicate that a program is not trustworthy. A high-quality online accredited high school diploma program should offer academic support and career guidance, with plenty of channels for students and parents to contact teachers and administrators when they have questions or concerns.
The accredited online high school diploma program at JMHS gives you access to comprehensive coursework and a host of resources to support you in your studies. Contact us for more info or enroll today.