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Where is Using a Diploma Mill Degree Illegal?

List of State Degree Usage Laws

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Diploma mill degrees are almost always considered dishonest and unacceptable by employers. However, in some states, using a diploma mill degree is actually illegal. In many cases, using such a degree to get a job, promote your business, or enhance your resume is punishable with a fine or even jail time.

Below is basic information about state statutes limiting the use of substandard college degrees. If you are concerned about degree use laws in your state, consult an attorney for professional legal advice.

Note: even if a state does not limit the use of diploma mill degrees, employers will consider these degrees illegitimate. Additionally, students receiving degrees from diploma mills are not eligible for federal financial aid nor may they use their degrees to qualify for federal employment.

Florida

In order to be claim a degree either verbally or on paper (i.e. resumes and job applications), a person’s diploma must meet certain qualifications set by the state.

Illinois

People may not use diploma mill degrees to obtain employment, get a promotion, get a raise, or apply to college.

Indiana

It is illegal to use an invalid doctorate degree, either orally or in writing, when attempting to get business or perform a business related job.

Oregon

Diploma mill degrees may not be used in Oregon. Unaccredited degrees may be used if the following disclaimer is included on all correspondence (resumes, business cards, etc): "(Name of school) does not have accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education and has not been approved by the Office of Degree Authorization."

Maine

Diploma mill degrees may not be used to apply to college, obtain employment, get a raise, get a promotion, or in use relation to any business.

Michigan

Diploma mill degrees may not be used to apply to college, obtain employment, get a raise, get a promotion, apply for a loan, or in use relation to any business.

Nevada

It is illegal for people to use degrees that they did not earn or degrees that are granted based on 10% or more of the recipient’s life experience.

New Jersey

Diploma mill degrees may not be used in relation to businesses, trades, professions, and occupations.

North Dakota

People may not use a diploma mill degree to apply to college, obtain employment, get a raise, get a promotion, or in use relation to any business.

Texas

It is illegal to use fraudulent or substandard degrees to advertise or promote business, obtain employment, obtain licensing or certification to practice business, get a promotion or other benefit, get a raise, gain admission to an educational program, or gain a government position with authority over others.

Virginia

People may not use diploma mill degrees in relation to any business, trade, profession, or occupation.

Washington

Diploma mill degrees may not be used to advertise or promote business, obtain employment, obtain licensing or certification to practice business, get a promotion or other benefit, get a raise, gain admission to an educational program, or gain a government position with authority over others.
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