Is Bircham University fake, unaccredited or a diploma mill?
No. It is a legitimate and reputable institution of higher education.
Bircham International University is a non profit institution that offers unaccredited distance learning higher education according to the US Council of Higher Education Accreditation. Bircham International University does not meet any of the criteria to be classified as a diploma mill or to be considered a fake institution of distance learning higher education.
Following we will explain what the US Government and consumer protection organizations state about unaccredited institutions and diploma mills, so you will be able to review Bircham International University reputation and legitimacy.
Unaccredited distance learning higher education
Accreditation is not the equivalent to legality or recognition, it is a non-governmental and voluntary quality standard. There are no worldwide accreditation standards. Furthermore, each country may have different standards. Due to the complexity of the assessment of quality in education, many evaluating institutions and experts simplify: Accredited is good, unaccredited is bad.
Quoting the US Department of Education: "Despite the widely recognized benefits and accountability of accreditation, some institutions choose, for various reasons, not to participate in an accreditation process. According to the United States Department of Education, it is possible for postsecondary educational institutions and programs to elect not to seek accreditation but nevertheless provide a quality postsecondary education. Yet, other unaccredited schools simply award degrees and diploma without merit for a price."
Review the following links for further information about Bircham International University reputation and legitimacy and judge for yourself.
US State Restrictions for unaccredited education
In the United States, unaccredited degrees may not be acceptable for financial aid, civil service or some employment. Criminal penalties sometimes apply should such a degree be presented in lieu of one from an accredited school. The use of unaccredited degrees are restricted in Oregon, Maine, Texas and Michigan. For example, an Oregonian wishing to use an unaccredited degree not approved by the State should make clear that Bircham International University is unaccredited foreign degree in Oregon.
The Oregon Office of Degree Authorization used to publish a list of unaccredited institutions and diploma mills. Bircham International University was included in this list as a Foreign Degree Supplier operating in the U.S. and being unaccredited from CHEA, the Council of Higher education Accreditation.
The States of Texas and Maine rely on evaluation reports provided by AACRAO (American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers). AACRAO considers equivalent of accreditation any program or institution that is recognized by the Ministry of Education of that country. Otherwise they will assume that the institution lacks authorization from the pertinent authorities. AACRAO states that Bircham International University is not fake but it is unaccredited. The correct statement should be that Bircham International University has the authority to issue degrees not recognized by the Ministry of Education.
The State of Michigan does not accept Bircham International University degrees but the hours of study earned at BIU may be accepted in Michigan and other States that restrict the use of unaccredited degrees. These hours of study must be presented in the form of CEUs (Continuing Education Units).
The CHEA (Council of Higher Education Accreditation) accreditation is important in the USA for two reasons: it provides standards in academic mobility in a country whose Constitution establishes freedom of education, and it distributes US Federal Grants to its members, except for distance learning. CHEA academic quality standards are good but they are not the only ones. The fact that Bircham International University is unaccredited from the US CHEA Accreditation may lead to the simple but incorrect classification of Bircham International University as a diploma mill or fake institution. This is of course very much incorrect.
Despite of some restrictions from some US States, Bircham International University distance learning higher education degrees may be used successfully for many professional activities.
Is Bircham University a diploma mill?
NO. Bircham University does not meet any of the criteria that defines a diploma mill.
An ongoing problem within distance learning higher education accreditation is the existence of diploma mills. These organizations exist to grant apparent degrees without academic course work or give a willing buyer a degree for money.
Diploma mills are more interested in your money than providing any education. You need to know how to protect yourself as a consumer. The USA Better Business Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education suggests to watch for the following features and regard them as red flags when considering whether or not to enroll in a Distance learning higher education institution:
- Degrees that can be earned in less time than at an accredited postsecondary institution, an example would be earning a Bachelor's degree in a few months. Bircham International University recommends that you check our different degree programs description and admission requirements. Then, consider if we meet this tag.
- Backing from accrediting agencies that are not real or may not be verified and/or misleading information about recognition, approval or licensing. Bircham International University recommends that you read the information provided about our recognition status. Then, consider if this is clearly explained.
- A list of accrediting agencies that sounds a little too impressive. Often, these schools will list accreditation by organizations that are not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (the two reputable organizations that recognize accrediting agencies). These schools will also imply official approval by mentioning state registration or licensing. Bircham International University recommends that you read the information provided about our recognition status. Then, consider if we this is clearly exposed.
- Excesive college credits for lifetime or real world experience. Bircham International University may award a maximum of 20% of the degree program required credits from profesional experience skills. The Bircham International University Official Admission Certificate details all credits previously transferred. Check the Bircham International University Admission policy.
- Tuition paid on a per-degree basis, or discounts for enrolling in multiple degree programs. Accredited institutions charge by credit hours, course, or semester. Again we recomend that you check the BIU Admission policy.
- Little or no interaction with professors. Just read some of our graduates testimonies and check the list of Bircham International University instructors.
- Names that are similar to well known reputable universities. Bircham International University is a unique and reputable higher education institution itself.
- Addresses that are box numbers or suites. Campus may very well be a mail drop box or someone's attic. Contact any of our offices worldwide.
Note from the US. Departement of Education: "Not all online degree programs are diploma mills. Do your homework and research schools that you are interested in attending. If you still have doubts, contact your Better Business Bureau or state attorney general's office to make sure the school is operating legally in a state and to see if anyone has filed a complaint."
You may find all the Bircham International University legal references and consumer protection guarantees at the BIU World References section of our web. Additionally, BIU offers a very favorable refund policy that is guaranteed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs from Spain (Europe).
A final advice
Use your common sense. Traditional and formal degree programs can not adapt so easily to the actual needs of the adult professional students. Flexibility does not necessarily confront quality. If common sense, all the references and evidence provided are not enough, we suggest you to wait and watch Bircham International University progress and improvement. Time is the only way we can demonstrate our institutional integrity and academic quality. Your motivation is the key to the success in distance learning higher education. If you feel that your educational effort may be useless you will surely loose the will to complete the degree program. Bircham International University does not want you to enroll but to graduate, to earn your deserved degree and to achieve your goals.