Diploma Mills

News and statistics about fake diplomas and fake degrees. Information about unaccredited diploma mills and the selling of research papers are collected from public information sources.

Key statistics, prices and additional information is available at the main Fake Diploma page.

A reporter in Dubai investigating fake online degrees reported on a company that was offering MBA degrees for sale. According to the report, the online company was claiming to transfer work experience into college credit that would allow a student to easily obtain an MBA degree online.

The unaccredited university was offering MBA degrees online for $500. After contacting the “university”, academic counselors repeatedly contacted the reporter using high pressured sales tactics in order to get the reporter to buy a degree. In the span of two days after initial contact, one diploma mill contacted the reporter 27 times, while another online diploma mill contacted the reporter 24 times.

The price of a MBA degree for sale is in line with other reported prices of degrees. It was previous reported that the cost to buy a degree online was $495 for a Bachelors degree and $525 for a Masters Degree.

(See more prices of fake diplomas online.)

Source:  Mazhar Farooqui, “Online fake degrees: XPRESS investigation part 2,” Gulfnews.com, June 4, 2014.

A man in the United States plead guilty in federal court for fraud after being arrested for selling fake diplomas.

Between 2003 and 2012, the man sold up to $5 Million worth of fake degrees and diplomas for fake schools that he created. None of the colleges that he made diplomas for had any faculty or courses, and none were officially recognized by the US Department of Education.

The man also created a fake accrediting body that was meant to accredit the fake universities.

The making of the fake degrees took place in Connecticut, but the 7 different websites that provided fake diplomas targeted customers around the world. The package for an Associate Degree was $475, a Bachelor’s Degree was $495, Masters Degree was $525, and a Doctoral Degree was offered for $550. If the customer bought several degrees, then a discount would kick in.

(More statistics on diploma mills.)

Source:  Aaron Katersky, “Connecticut Man Pleads Guilty to Churning Out Fake College Diplomas,” ABC News, May 8, 2014.

Online websites that offer to write essays and college papers reportedly charge between $13 to $40 per page. The price for the paper varies depending on how quickly the paper needs to be written, as well as the grade level of the customer.

In an interview with a ghost writer conducted by Gulf News, one writer who caters to the Middle East stated that he charges about $27 (100 UAE Dirham) per page, but could charge as much as $544 (2,000 Dirham) per page depending on the topic. The ghost writer stated that the end of the semester is his busiest time, where he could be writing papers for up to 40 clients. He writes out each paper using original research, and caters his English language skills to match his client. After he writes the paper, he explains the ideas and concepts with the customer so that the student can defend the paper to the instructor.

(Information about buying fake degrees and fake diplomas.)

Another ghost writer, who works full time in an corporate setting, claims that she can make up to $1361 (5,000 Dirham) for writing a paper on a short deadline.

In the United Kingdom, the online essay writing industry is estimated to be worth $330 Million (£200 Million).

Source:  Noor Nazzal, “Sale of black-market essays to university students on the rise,” Gulf News, December 28, 2013.


The academic journal Science reported that scientists in China pay between $1,500 to $24,850 to have their names listed as authors in academic papers.

One such paper that offered authorship for sale included a study on Alzheimer that was published in a legitimate Canadian journal.

The black market in authorship has around 27 Chinese companies that offer editing and research services. According to Science, the companies offer slots on papers written by legitimate scientists, plagiarize a separate paper, or create fake data and write a completely new paper.

Previously, the Economist magazine reported that fake research and academic papers industry in China generated $150 Million a year.

(Prices to buy a fake diploma online.)

Source:  Margaret Munro, “China’s academic ‘black market’ fooled Canadian journal, report says,” Province, November 28, 2013.

Police in Macedonia arrested a man who was selling counterfeit degrees to the State University of Tetovo, a legitimate university.

The man was selling the fake degrees to customers located in Italy for $34,000 (€25,000).

Educational officials and security agencies reported that between 18 counterfeit university diplomas and 49 fake high school diplomas have been seized in Macedonia between 2008 and 2012.

(More statistics about the fake diploma industry.)

Source:  Miki Trajkovski, “Police planning to stop counterfeit degrees,” SETimes.com, November 28, 2013.

Education experts in China estimate that the market for plagiarized academic papers, fake journals and other types of invented research is generates up to $150 Million a year.

In China, research grants and promotions within universities is tied to the number of articles published in academic journals. Researchers purchase plagiarized reports in order to increase their resume. According to a government survey, one-third of 6,000 researchers at 6 institutions in China admitted to either plagiarism, falsification of the data, or outright fabrication.

In addition to papers, sellers were also offering fake medical journals that offer placement for a price. One counterfeit journal was offering to publish articles for $650.

(More fake diploma and academic fraud information.)

Source:  “Scientific research: Looks good on paper,” Economist, September 28, 2013.

Fake university degrees in India are reportedly being sold online that provide certificates, diplomas and degrees for sale. The fake credentials includes diplomas from accredited universities such as Bangalore University. In addition, there are fake diplomas and credentials from schools that do not exist.

Depending on how quickly the fake diplomas are needed, as well as the type of degree and strength of transcripts, the prices of the packages range from $80 to $1,035 (5,000 to 65,000 Indian Rupees).

On average, Bangalore University receives 20 degree verifying inquires per day. Out of those requests, between 1 to 3 percent of the degrees that are submitted for verification are found to be fakes.

Source:  “Fake degree scam: No sweat, you can get a varsity degree in 10 -days,” Economic Times, September 24, 2013.

According to media reports in Vietnam, teachers have been found to have purchased fake diplomas and teaching credentials in order to work in local schools. Based on interviews with police, the teachers paid between $50 and $600 (1 Million  to 12 Million Vietnamese Dong) for their fake diplomas.

Fake degrees from foreign universities area available for purchase for Vietnamese residents on the Internet. A Canadian-based website that was written in Vietnamese was offering fake degrees with an embossing seal from universities such as Yale and University College London. The prices for the fake degrees were between $1,200 to $1,500.

Another website based in the United States and  written in Vietnamese was offering fake diplomas and degrees and transcripts for $2,200 to $4,900.

Source:  Heip Pham, “As degree mills proliferate, new measures published,” University World News, August 24, 2013.

In a campaign against fake credentials launched by the Education Ministry, the investigation discovered that nearly 620 employees of government offices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were listing fake diplomas and degrees.

234 doctorate degrees, 230 master degrees and 56 bachelors degrees listed by government workers were discovered to have been fake.

Source:  “Around 620 Saudi govt officials found using fake degrees: report,” Geo TV, July 28, 2013.

A Russian company created a counterfeit degree-granting organization that was granting fake degrees and diplomas to individuals who could afford them. According to officials in Vietnam, the company was charging $6,000 to obtain a fake degree.

Officials in Vietnam found several job candidates who held the fake degree from Russia.

Source:  Tin Tuc, “Employers warned about foreign counterfeit degrees,” Viet Nam Net, June 8, 2013.