By Michael Ormsby
The Better Business Bureau is investigating online diploma mills, those websites that offer quick and easy "online high school diplomas" or "online GED® certificates" if you take an online test (for a fee, of course). So, how easy is it? Oreo C. Collins, a black and white cat from Macon, Georgia, owned by Kevin Collins, CEO of Georgia's Better Business Bureau, earned a "high school diploma" from a diploma website. Though Oreo had a little help answering the online quiz, the diploma mill apparently had no qualms about issuing a "high school diploma" to a feline, for a fee, of course.
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Oreo's story highlights a growing problem on the Internet. Dozens of websites offer a "high school diploma" or "online GED certificate" for taking an online test. In reality, you cannot take your GED test online, because unlike the test that Oreo took, the GED test requires the test-taker to prove their identity and show their skills in a set of four comprehensive subject exams. Passing the GED test is a real accomplishment, unlike the fraudulent "high school diploma" that Oreo earned.
Employers, colleges, and government agencies don't accept "diplomas" bought through online sites where the only requirement is an online test or life experience. Why? For the same reasons taking the GED test online is not allowed: because a cat can go online and buy that kind of diploma. At the GED Academy, which offers online GED classes that prepare you for the real GED test, we hear a lot of stories from people who spent hundreds of dollars on a "high school diploma" or "online GED certificate" from a website, only to find out it was worthless.
John, from Lynbrook, New York, wanted to become a cop. He bought a "diploma" from a website, not realizing that they were only selling him a piece of paper. He found out that colleges and employers wouldn't take it. Kimberly, the mother of two boys, was working at a school. She bought a "diploma" online for her job, only to find out that it was no good. She lost her job because she didn't have an accepted high school equivalency diploma.
In contrast, taking GED test online classes is a quick and easy way to earn a diploma that's worth a lot. The actual GED test is taken at one of the many Official GED Testing Center™ locations. After passing the GED test, you are awarded a high school equivalency certificate by your state department of education. Find local information about the GED test in your state or province.
The GED certificate is accepted by almost all U.S. employers and colleges, including the U.S. military and police forces around the country. The American Council on Education (ACE) GED Testing Service®, the organization that develops the GED test, warns against fraudulent online "diplomas," which cost unsuspecting people between $200 and $1,200, but are worth nothing.
Michael Ormsby is the president of the GED Academy and oversees software and curriculum for adult learners and people with educational challenges. For more information, visit passGED.com. Michael can be contacted by telephone at 800-460-8150.