BBB warns about school scams trading diplomas for your dollars - – Rockford’s News Leader

BBB warns about school scams trading diplomas for your dollars

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A nationwide scam targets and threatens people looking to expand their education. Cases are showing up in the Rockford area.

A local agency helping people find jobs says they had a client come in who claimed to graduate from an online high school. Experts say that candidate was the victim of a scam.

"They think they're working with an accredited school and in fact they're not." -says Better Business Bureau Rockford Regional Office Director Dennis Horton.

The institution is Woodfield High School and there are others like it.

"All that is required to be a student is to sign up and pay the fee. You never really are taught anything." -Horton explains.

Woodfield High School reps claim they're a legitimate institution backed by the Universal Accreditation Agency for Online Education.

"Those accreditations come from agencies that they themselves set-up." -Horton says.

Experts recommend researching both the school you're interested in and its accreditation before applying.

"If you can't find the school that you're looking for on the U.S. Department of Education's website of accredited schools then you should start to question who you're dealing with."

Horton also says another way to avoid issues is by learning locally. Rockford area schools can help students earn degrees and meet their individual needs. Rock Valley College's Elevate program targets low-income young adults. It's free and offers childcare, transportation and job search services.

"We have different stipends for whatever it is that's keep them from the class. They just have to be willing to come and study and take the tests and pass the six GED tests." -says program director Amy Heilman.

If you're curious about your school, or one you're interested in, search to see if it's listed here.

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