Unaccredited Degrees Are Legal

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by russ, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. russ

    russ New Member

    This is a point that many people seem to miss on this site. Unaccredited college degrees are legal. There is nothing legally wrong with a college not seeking accreditation for it's degree program. Accreditation is optional, not required.

    This does not argue for fraudulent degrees (the strawman that many wish to argue against) but simply states a fact. Most people here argue for accreditation and that is fine. If that is what they want, they have that option. Where the debate becomes illegitimate (by my standards) is when people here accuse those with unaccredited degrees as being frauds and liars. This is not acceptable.

    I have been to the California Coast University website and noticed that they have been in business for over thirty years. They were finally accredited in 2005 by DETC. What about all of those thousands of people who obtained their degree from CCU before they were accredited? Guess what? They have unaccredited degrees and you are calling them frauds and liars.

    I also noticed on their site that there are hundreds of companies who sponsored tuition for these unaccredited degrees and who accepted them as legitimate once they were obtained (why else would they pay for them?). This widespread corporate acceptance flies in the face of the arguments here that only accredited degrees are acceptable.

    Instead of insulting everyone who has a legal unaccredited degree a better approach would be to counsel individuals on how to verify that a school is legitimate whether it is accredited or unaccredited.
  2. Jake_A

    Jake_A New Member


    Welcome back.

    It will help if, for once, you stuck to facts, not half-truths, cleverly disguised misinformation, or blatant mis-representations.

    Some (in fact, relatively very few) unaccredited degrees are or may be legal in some states.

    The vast majority of unaccredited degrees are diploma mill degrees and are not legal in any US state (or foreign country).

    They, therefore, truly deserve the overwhelming disdain and scorn that are routinely heaped upon them (the UA degrees), the holders of such, the entities which supply them, and their shills.

    The overwhleming majority of these unaccredited degrees are (yes, check the available estimates, published studies, and expert opinions!) totally fraudulent, illegal and devoid of any semblance of substance, quality or legitimacy.

    Changing the topic - or the thread - or bemoaning Degreeinfo's unrelenting attack on dubious, supremely sub-standard/no standard, and predominantly illegal diploma mill operations and shills at home and abroad, will never change that fact.

    Facts........the operative word. Not unsubstantiated assertions, misleading statements, or wishful thinking.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2005
  3. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    It is legal for a person to not bathe or brush their teeth, but they shouldn't expect to be hired for a management job! The same is true of schools. The accepted standard for Colleges and Universities in the U.S. is Regional Accreditation. Schools can do anything they want within the law, but they shouldn't expect many students to enroll!

    Legitimate degrees can be a huge investiment for a student taking years of time and thousands of dollars. It is only logical that people choose schools that are reliable, serious, and professional. For the vast majority of people that means accredited schools. In some extrememly RARE cases that can mean a legitimate unaccredited school. Please note legitimate unaccredited schools are very few and far between. I can think of a few examples that have been discussed here such as the National Test Pillot's School, but they are dwarfed by frudulent operations such as SRU, PWU, and K-WU.
  4. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Can you explain this? I am not sure I agree with this statement. While most unaccredited schools can likely be classified as diploma/degree mills, they may still be legal.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I've been posting on this subject for almost 10 years, and I've been involved with it for more than 25. I've observed that the insults rise in direct proportion to the absurdity of the statements made.
  6. The establishment of the Department of Education shall not increase the authority of the Federal Government over education or diminish the responsibility for education which is reserved to the States and the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the States.
    20 U.S.C.A. § 3403 § 3403. Relationship with States

    In the Federal system, the primary public responsibility for education is reserved respectively to the States
    20 USCA § 3403

    And although private accrediting institutions serve a valuable role in providing information to the public regarding the academic standards at various schools, these organizations are voluntary
    (483 A.2d 1172)

    Educational institutions have no inherent or constitutional right to confer degrees; rather, degree conferral is business conduct, a corporate privilege conferred by the state of incorporation.
    (483 A.2d 1172)
    Now, until the end of time, bear in mind russ, one thing is officially authorized, legal, and operate by JUS, and other is the Custom, specially, in your country.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2005
  7. Jake_A

    Jake_A New Member

    My explanation:

    It is true, as you state, that "......While most unaccredited schools can likely be classified as diploma/degree mills, they may still be legal."

    They may be.

    Or, they may not be, that is probably why when legal pressure is applied in some US states, the operators of these unaccredited entities simply pack their bags and move to where laws are more lax and enforcement is more lenient or simply non-existent.

    It is probably more a situation of one calling a spade a spade, as one perceives it, and not necessarily "insulting everyone who has a legal unaccredited degree."

    Russ, you state that it is better "to counsel individuals on how to verify that a school is legitimate whether it is accredited or unaccredited."

    Ok. This is quite easy to do. Go here and/or here or Russ, you may post your alternate, legitimate verification schema here.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2005
  8. RXI

    RXI New Member

    Unaccredited schools

    Bill Dayton has posted a list of good unaccredited schools many, many times on this forum, quite possibly up to three pages. Search for them.

    There is another list of good unaccredited schools, 13 to be exact, listed at the top of the page, shown here...


    And, let us not forget Virginia International University.

    These are considered good unaccredited schools by most.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2005
  9. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I have a tendency to side with Jake on this one, at least as I interpreted it. I believe that most unaccredited schools are diploma mills that use decent as part of their business model. Some common examples, life experience degrees/credit, bogus accreditation claims, etc. . This means to me that there's a good chance that they could be proven fraudulent in court. This can be difficult but it has been done and the owners have been sent to jail. The cases that have been tried and won are not that different from the run of the mill mill we see today. (I like that "run of the mill mill".) So while they may frequently have legal business licenses, their practises are generally deceitful, misleading, and therefore fraudulent.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: Unaccredited schools

    VIU isn't any better or worse than any other start-up B&M school. (Except their funding is inadequate, IMHO.)

    These schools are normally outside the scope of discussion on this board, and vary radically from what we see regarding unaccredited DL schools, most of which are pure junk.

  11. plantagenet

    plantagenet New Member

    Re: Unaccredited schools

    Of the 13, one of them is closed (University for Humanistic Studies) and Bob Jones has recently received candidacy from TRACS and will probably soon be accredited.

    2 others only have limited recognition (not all programs are recognised).
  12. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member


    Legal does not equal good or wise.

    It is legal to

    jump off a cliff
    poke your eye
    spit in your neighbor's face
    watch Martha Stuart
    urinate on your foot
    eat glass
    defacate in your bed
    eat bugs
    pull your hair out
    bite your lip
    eat at McDonalds
    squirt milk out of your eye
    listen to Barney, the purple dinosaur, sing
    get an unaccredited degree
    respond to russ on DegreeInfo.
  13. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    Technically, it's not legal to spit in your neighbor's face, that would be a criminal assault in every jurisdiction, some may have a different terminology for it.

    Insight, Nosborne? You practice in this area.

    As for responding to russ, that may be legal...but entirely unproductive and inadvisable.
  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it would be a misdemeanor. Battery, if your aim is good, assault if you try to hit him but miss or if your spitting places your neighbor in the actual and reasonable fear of being hit.

    If the neighbor is a child, the penalty could be worse. If he's a cop doing his duty, you could be looking at pen time.

    If the neighbor is the President, you likely won't survive beyond puckering up.
  15. Jake_A

    Jake_A New Member

    Sort of an aside, but not really ........ as I think about BillHuffman's legal-but-not-necessarily-wise list above.

    Russ et al., humor me for a minute.

    The legality or otherwise of unaccredited entities are analogous to brothels and prostitution.

    The brothels provide quick fixes (or, ummm, quick "releases,") instead of, or in addition to, legal and sanctified long-term relationships or marriage-dom.


    While most unaccredited "schools" or mills provide quick and painless "degrees" for no work at all or very little work - for example, 4 courses with or without a final paper versus the normal 40 or so courses with or without a final paper - for a Bachelors degree) - a few undoubtedly offer externally-verifiable rigor of contenet and delivery and thus have some respectability.

    (Can there ever be a "respectable" brothel? Russ, please do not answer that. LOL.)

    They (brothels) are legal in some US states (e.g. Nevada) and illegal in others (e.g. Maryland).

    Even in some places where they are licensed and legal, much of their practices are illegal and abhorrent (e.g. human trafficking for "immoral" purposes, robbing of patrons, illegal transportation of persons and activities across state borders, condoning child prostitution, etc).

    Similarly, some practices of ostensibly legal unaccredited "schools" are deceitful and shady. For example, they give us rampant electronic spamming, scurrying from state to state to escape regulation, liberal awards of huge life experience credits with little or no legitimate verification of such, etc.

    Brothels also exist and are legal in some foreign countries. No disrespect intended but, for example, prostitution is legal or acceptable in some form or another in all Australian regions/states (and some other countries). In some states brothels are legal, but not in others. In some Australian states brothels are illegal yet are tolerated by police and the Government.

    Here in Washington, DC, Police have at times been known to simply look askance at the antics of the peddlers of flesh and their pimps, ummmm, "unaccredited business managers," as they ply their trade.

    States and localities may at times, also ignore, even if temporarily, the presence of illegal mills in their midst as they devote scarce policing and investigative resources to tracking and prosecuting murderers and investment scammers.

    Ok, I will not push this diploma mill and brothel analogy too far ......


  16. JimS

    JimS New Member

    You make some very good points here Russ. Thank you.
    Best regards,
  17. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member


    But the fact that a non-accredited school isn't breaking the law doesn't imply that the education it offers or the awards it grants meet any academic standard.

    Do you want everyone to simply embrace all non-accredited schools so long as they are legal? Wouldn't that be foolish?

    I don't reject all non-accredited schools. I like a few of them very much. But I do think that non-accredited programs should be treated with a lot of initial skepticism.

    Most non-accredited schools are either substandard or outright mills. And the mere fact that a school chooses to avoid outside scrutiny suggests that it believes that it would not pass.

    If people nevertheless want to champion non-accredited schools, then it's their responsibility to make a convincing case for the non-accredited schools that they happen to favor.

    But even if individuals decide that they like a particular non-accredited school, they need to remember that their decision is a personal one and that it might not be widely shared.
  18. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for correcting my list of legal things to do. I promise that I wasn't trying to set a trap that would send someone to jail. Your delightful corrections have made me pleased I made the mistake. ;)

    It does draw an additional analogy with Russ's position though since in some jurisdictions using an unaccredited degree may be illegal even though purchasing one may not be. So they are legal at least until you try to use it.
  19. Revkag

    Revkag New Member

    Urinating on your foot might not be legal... If you outside and somone saw, it might considered lewd, and indecent exposure...
    Also, if the wind is blowing and it gets on someone, there would be additional charges, I would suppose...
  20. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Doesn't it depend on what you look like? I mean, if I were caught in an indecent state of public undress, I could easily be arrested for, if nothing else, defacing the scenery and lowering local property values. A economic crime against aesthetics, you might say.

    But Halle Barry might be seen in a somewhat DIFFERENT light...

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