There’s a term called “diploma mill” which you should be familiar with if you are researching which on-line degree program to choose. A diploma mill is usually an accredited school that can give a student a valid degree, but cares very little to educate the students – instead, it will employ easy classes and a low grading scale to guarantee that as many students graduate as quickly as possible. The goal of doing this is so that the institution can say it has a certain number of graduates, which makes the school look more impressive and legitimate.
A diploma mill is not a scam, per se, but at the same time it does provide a very small return on investment – a student pays for a degree, but doesn’t get the education and skills that come with earning such a degree.
One of the tricks used by a diploma mill is awarding high quantities of “life credits.” A life credit is when a school awards college credit to a student who is coming in from the working sector. Credits can be awarded based on work experience, or specific knowledge of a chosen field or discipline. For example, working as a band promoter can score you credit if you attend school for a public relations degree, but wouldn’t get the same credit if you were looking to study English. Being a published author might get you credit for an English degree, but not for a Nursing degree. And so on and so forth.
This has become a fairly common practice, as schools are competing for on-line degree seekers, and many legitimate schools and programs offer some amount of life credit to be put toward a degree.
But some schools give the credits too freely, as much as a quarter of all credits needed to graduate will be simply awarded to a student first starting school. This may seem like a “head start” on the race to a degree, but may end up making things more difficult in the long run.
Legitimate life experience evaluations are done very carefully, offering credit equivalents only after a lengthy interview process and/or extensive testing. When the process is done like this, it usually shows the school is interested in the students educations, and legitimately wants to play to the strengths of the student.
There is no legitimate program I know of that offers a degree for life experience alone, so if you see this, you can rest assured the school is not for real. The more lackadaisical the school is in awarding life credits, or the more credits they are willing to give, should serve as a warning.
That said, life experience is something you should use to your advantage, so find a legitimate school through this site that offers this benefit, and take that into consideration when planning what you want to study and where you want to study it.