What is the Definition of a Diploma Mill?

General discussions concerning institutions and degree programs.

What is the Definition of a Diploma Mill?

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:31 pm

Hello Forum Members,

I am new here and have seen some extremely biased posts calling schools a Diploma Mill. I want to ask our members, what they think is the definition of a Diploma Mill. I always thought it was someone who sold a degree for little or no work. Thank you for your input.
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Re: What is the Definition of a Diploma Mill?

Postby Rich Douglas » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:40 pm

That's a good one. But the term (and its sister, "degree mill,") has about as many meanings as there are users of it.

I believe it was Steve Levicoff who used to push a distinction between the two terms, with "diploma mill" meaning a seller of fake degrees, while "degree mill" meant a substandard (but usually legal, if not accredited) school.

That's a useful distinction, except that in practice the two terms are used interchangeably, and they're used for both blatant sellers of fake diplomas to traditional (DL and campus-based) and even accredited schools.

I guess, in sum, it just doesn't matter how one defines the terms. It is their meaning that matters.
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Re: What is the Definition of a Diploma Mill?

Postby levicoff » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:21 pm

worldtraveler wrote:Hello Forum Members,

I am new here and have seen some extremely biased posts calling schools a Diploma Mill. I want to ask our members, what they think is the definition of a Diploma Mill. I always thought it was someone who sold a degree for little or no work. Thank you for your input.

My definition, for purposes of this and the Charisma University thread, is simpler than the one provided by Dr. Douglas.

It is, quite simply, worldtraveler, any school with which you are affiliated and feel a pathetic need to defend. :mrgreen:
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Re: What is the Definition of a Diploma Mill?

Postby SteveFoerster » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:44 pm

worldtraveler wrote:Hello Forum Members,

I am new here and have seen some extremely biased posts calling schools a Diploma Mill. I want to ask our members, what they think is the definition of a Diploma Mill. I always thought it was someone who sold a degree for little or no work. Thank you for your input.

Your description sounds about right to me. It tracks with the Wikipedia entry for the term, which is pretty good in my opinion.

Many people use the term wrongly to mean a school that's legitimate, but that they don't respect. Schools like the University of Phoenix are often wrongly called mills. Some people even use it to mean any school less prestigious, however slightly, than the one from which they graduated. :smile:
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