White House issues new protections for military families, veterans targeted by diploma mills
You’re dealing with folks who aren’t interested in helping you. They’re not interested in helping you find the best program. They are interested in getting the money. They don’t care about you; they care about the cash. That’s appalling. That’s disgraceful. It should never happen in America. (President Obama, speaking to service members about for-profit institutions at Ft. Stewart, GA on 27 April 2012)
When I first saw this Associated Press article, intrigued by the phrase “Obama targets diploma mills,” the first thought that came to mind was what about everyone else, including other US citizens, Vietnamese and other international students? Why just veterans and their families? Of course, he’s referring not only to diploma mills but also to borderline for-profit (and nationally accredited) schools whose primary sources of income are from active duty soldiers, veterans and international students, including those from Vietnam.
Then I came across the assertion that There is little the federal government can do to shut down diploma mills… Really? Why not? Why should businesses whose modus operandi is to cheat and defraud their customers, or become “partners in falsehood,” as one colleague once put it, and that shamelessly tarnish the reputation of legitimate (read accredited) US higher education be allowed to exist unchallenged?
I look forward to the day when a bill in the US Congress that is more far-reaching than House Resolution 4535 (PDF) becomes law, the day when rogue providers, including diploma mills, can no longer play what is widely referred to as a game of whack-a-mole by moving from one state to another that is more “business-friendly.”
Check out this post Caveat Emptor! US Rogue Providers Discover Vietnam and the linked documents for more information about this important issue.
Postscript: The US is the world’s leading host of diploma mills. Yes, the truth hurts sometimes.
One thought on ““Obama targets diploma mills that market to vets””
Protections are nice, but I happen to know of a graduate of a “diploma mill” who was promoted from GS-5 to GS-12 in two years, and was named director to an overseas program while working for the U.S. military. The person was fully able to perform the job functions, simply lacked the accredited degree.
The GI bill is certainly a good source of moneys for any school that qualifies for those moneys – oops, the VA does have an approval criteria for vets who want to go back to school. In other words, the first person I mentioned made much more money from a ‘paid for’ degree than what was paid, but a GI could earn the money for a degree with his blood, and not be able to get a job with that degree.