Resources › For Students and Parents Where to Find a List of Unaccredited Online Colleges Share Flipboard Email Print damircudic / Getty Images For Students and Parents Distance Learning Online College Online High School Online Public Schools Free Courses Homework Help Private School Test Prep College Admissions College Life Graduate School Business School Law School View More By Jamie Littlefield Education Expert M.A., Education, Claremont Graduate University B.A., English, Brigham Young University Jamie Littlefield is a writer, instructional designer, and teacher of high school and college distance education courses. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and more. our editorial process Jamie Littlefield Updated January 22, 2020 Hundreds of diploma mill "schools" offer fake degrees in exchange for cash payments. Others offer a substandard education with a minimal workload. Before enrolling in any online program, here's how you can make sure that it is properly accredited. 01 of 03 Check Online College Accreditation Status via the Web So many new diploma mill programs begin each year that it’s hard to keep up. If you’re concerned about a college’s accreditation, your best bet is to check its status from the United States Department of Education. Their Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs will let you look up any legitimately accredited online college. If the online college of concern isn’t listed in the database, it isn’t accredited. 02 of 03 Review Oregon's List of Unaccredited Programs Oregon’s Office of Degree Authorization does a good job of keeping track of unaccredited colleges. If you want to find out the truth about a diploma mill program, you can learn more about it on their website. Find out where these businesses are based and what trouble they’ve encountered with the government. Use this option only after you’ve checked a college’s accreditation status with the USDE — not all diploma mill programs will be listed. 03 of 03 Double Check With Michigan's Diploma Mill List Michigan also keeps a list of unaccredited colleges. Take a look at their PDF document to review hundreds of unacceptable online colleges. Simply put — if you want your online degree to be accepted in academia and the workplace, steer clear of these unreliable programs.