Inside an Online MBA Diploma Mill
He denied that Rochville could be called a “diploma mill”: “[The charge] doesn’t make any sense. A diploma mill is—you want to get a degree from Stanford or Oxford. A diploma mill prints up the degree for you, like one from Yale, and it’s not verifiable. You can’t use it in the workplace.” He referred to Rochville’s accreditation (though neglected to mention the AffordableDegrees.com disclaimer on accreditation) and to their verification process. His definition is narrower than the one provided by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s 2003 fact sheet (PDF), which identifies a diploma mill as a company that, among other markers, sells degrees, requires very little time for them, and offers them “based solely on experience or resume review.”
Nelson did refer to the “conventional” option offered for those without work experience, in which people could take classes, exams, and so on, and pay the $12,000-$16,000 for the two-year program, but in multiple conversations with Rochville, class never seemed to be in session nor could representatives tell me how to receive information about these classes or how many people signed up for them. Nelson spoke mainly of the degree I could receive in a week and of the special discount I could receive that day ($820 for a Master’s).
Can we trust a Rochville rep in general? Phillips is wary.
“I’ve had to deal with a lot of blowback, including personal threats,” Phillips says. But she adds that she doesn’t regret ripping into Rochville. “I’m sorry, but they gave a degree to a dog!”
No offense, Chester. But I decided against “earning” a Rochville MBA myself.