Persuade Me I Need a Degree: How Unaccredited Online Degree Programs Advertise
The funniest emails caught in my spam filter are the ones that offer me degrees in various enticing ways. Since I am on a “top 10” kick this week, my favorites in my last perusal are the following charmingly ungrammatical ones (#2 reminds me of Porgy and Bess: “Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?”) or the ones that cause doubt (such as #1: can a degree ever expire?):
- Expired academic qualification
- Is your skills about to expired?
- Without books and education process call now
- MBA the hottest most sought after degree
- Receive PhD that you deserve from an Established Prestigious Institution
- Receive MBA very fast
- Nominated for a Ph.d
- Celebrate your life-long achievements
- Start earning the salary you deserve by obtaining the approopriate University Degree
- Your Degree shipped by Fed-Ex
In Degrees by Mail: Look What You Can Buy for only $499, I wrote about reading these online degree offers “more carefully than other unsolicited emails to find out how much the degree costs, how long it takes to ‘earn’ it, and what the plausible-sounding name of the institution is”. Now I just read the subject lines. But I still worry that these ads make it harder for the high quality online programs to move away from the déclassé correspondence schools that used to be so common. The biggest issues to me are how students find the high quality programs while avoiding the ones advertised above, and how employers know which online degrees are legitimate and from reputable institutions.