They may also claim to evaluate work history or require submission of a thesis or dissertation for evaluation to give an appearance of authenticity. The term may also be used pejoratively to describe an accredited institution with low academic admission standards and a low job placement rate. An individual may or may bears guide to earning degrees by distance learning pdf be aware that the degree they have obtained is not wholly legitimate.
While the terms “degree mill” and “diploma mill” are commonly used interchangeably, within the academic community a distinction is sometimes drawn. A “degree mill” issues diplomas from unaccredited institutions which may be legal in some states but are generally illegitimate, while a “diploma mill” issues counterfeit diplomas bearing the names of real universities. Academic diplomas may be legitimately awarded without any study as a recognition of authority or experience. Diploma mills share a number of features that differentiate them from respected institutions, although some legitimate institutions may exhibit some of the same characteristics. Diploma mills therefore employ various tactics in an attempt to appear more legitimate to potential students. Some diploma mills claim accreditation by an accreditation mill while referring to themselves as being “fully accredited”. UNESCO has no authority to recognize or accredit higher education institutions or agencies, and has published warnings against education organizations that claim UNESCO recognition or affiliation.
Some diploma and degree mills have played a role in creating unrecognized accrediting bodies as well. Promotional materials may use words denoting a legal status such as “licensed”, “state authorized”, or “state-approved” to suggest an equivalence to accreditation. Some advertise other indicators of authenticity that are not relevant to academic credentials. In reality notarization only certifies that the document was signed by the person named.