A Painless Path To A College Degree

Operators of a diploma mill, convicted of selling 10,000 bogus academic degrees out of Spokane, Washington, are on their way to prison. The Justice department declined to release the names of buyers, saying that it was against policy, but the Spokesman-Review made the complete list public today on its website. The buyers include at least 135 people with ties to the military, 39 with educational institutions and 17 with government agencies, including one from NASA , one from the CIA (a contract employee) and a military adviser working at the White House. Half the buyers were from overseas, with a majority of the “students” from Saudi Arabia. Many bought four or more degrees. The top customer, Anthony McGugan of Barnegat, New Jersey, bought 16, including a masters and doctorate in theology, a masters in social work, bachelor’s degrees in human services and biblical studies and certificates in addiction counseling and social development. A total of 826 purchasers bought at least one PhD. The fictional colleges and universities listed as granting the degrees included St. Regis (the top choice), Valorem, Eucharist Diocese, Cincinnati Technical College, the University of the Punjab and Holy Acclaim University. Some 375 of the purchasers bought high school degrees.

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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