Are you someone who took a few college classes years ago but never graduated?  If so, you’re not alone.  There are many people who have either a few or many college credits but no degree.  Finishing your degree is definitely a good thing to do since it can lead to a promotion at work or you can even use it to start a new career.  But how do you make it happen?

One way that many working adults are finishing their college degrees is through online degree programs.  These days many highly respected and properly accredited schools are offering online degree programs that do not require you to visit the campus for any reason.  Such programs are ideal for those who are unable to fit in-person college classes in their busy schedules.  Unfortunately, not all online programs are legit.  One type of program you should definitely avoid is known as the “life experience degree.”

To many people life experience degrees sound almost like they’re too good to be true.  The truth is, well, they are.  Legitimate colleges and universities don’t award college credit based on nothing more than “experience.”  Life experience degrees are a type of fraud that is usually operated out of someone’s home.  For a substantial fee the “school” will take a look at your credentials and if everything checks out, you will receive a diploma in the mail.  Unfortunately, these diplomas aren’t even worth the postage that was spent to mail them.

While “life experience” degree programs don’t really exist, there is an interesting alternative.  There are many colleges and universities in the United States that will award college credit for the completion of many corporate or military training programs.  This is a great way to skip some college classes and receive credit for something you already know.

Many people attempt to validate a school’s accreditation before enrolling to make sure both the school and its programs are legit.  Most of the time this works out, however, there are some legit schools that don’t have any accreditation.  Full Sail University, for example, is a career school that does not hold regional accreditation, which is the highest form of accreditation available in the United States.  No, there is no Full Sail University scam, it’s just that some career or vocational schools choose not to pursue this level of accreditation.

Sadly, the world is filled with scam artists looking to make a quick buck and the world of higher education is not immune to this.  If you see a “school” that advertises life experience degrees, take a pass on it.  And definitely take the time to thoroughly investigate a school’s history and accreditation before enrolling.