There are hours upon hours of homework and some courses are a total nightmare.
But not all students are stressed.
Meet Chester Ludlow. The 8-year-old pug got a college degree without even cracking open a book.
His owner, Vicky Phillips, runs GetEducated.com -- a consumer advocacy group. She wanted to prove just how easy it is get a college degree, so she sent a fake resume and $499 check to Rochville University.
Three weeks later Chester had his degree, two sets of transcripts, and even a window decal for his car-- never mind the fact he'll never drive.
"We were very proud of him when the package came," Phillips said. "We had a graduation party. We got him a cap and gown."
Chester's achievement is shedding light on diploma mills.
Rochville is one of about 500 online universities that offer degrees for no work.
Many of the schools are accredited. The catch is-- most of the accreditation agencies aren't recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
But In most states--including Vermont-- diploma mills aren't even illegal.
"They're not committing fraud, technically, in most states, because most states don't require a college to be accredited," Phillips explained.
Some online programs and universities are legit.
Champlain College offers eight online degrees; everything from accounting to business management.
"We're actually a pioneer in online education," said Lance Millett of Champlain College. "So it's something we're really proud of."
Enrollment in those programs has risen 10 percent over the past 2 years-- an increase Millett says could be even more significant, if it weren't for diploma mills. The mills have created a stigma about online degrees.
And that's why back in Westford, Phillips is hoping Chester will actually use his fake credentials-- hounding diploma mills into cleaning up their act.
Vicky Phillips estimates that three-fourths of all people who get fake diplomas know exactly what they're doing but are willing to take the chance to save a few thousand bucks.
To find out if online classes at a school are legit, there are a couple of things you can do. For starters, find schools with name recognition-- specifically in the geographic region you're hoping to work-- and then visit that school. Most online universities do have an actual campus.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-04-16 04:07:42 GMT
Rain, flooding and now snow. This weather rollercoaster is causing problems all around our region. Temps have dropped so the heavy rainfall has switched to snow. Rivers are spilling their banks, roadsMore >>
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Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:08:37 GMT
Flood warnings are in effect around our region as heavy rains begin to move through. There is already localized flooding at some of the typical problem spots, like the wrong-way bridge on Route 15 inMore >>
Parts of our region are already flooding and others are bracing as heavy rains move through. Not only is rain falling fast, but warm temperatures Monday melted snow, adding to high waters.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:06:00 GMT
A man had to be pulled from the Black River in Springfield Tuesday morning. The Hartford Fire Department says it's working to pull a man out from the river. They say he got stuck about 75 feet out inMore >>
Vermont emergency workers have rescued a man stranded in the middle of a treacherous section of river in downtown Springfield. More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:02:17 GMT
The sex crimes trial of a former prison guard has been delayed. Jury draw was scheduled to begin Monday for Richard Gallow. He is charged with sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct on a femaleMore >>
The sex crimes trial of a former prison guard has been delayed.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:27 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:27:17 GMT
Arson at the Albany Fire Department was an inside job. On Tuesday former firefighter Elmer Joerg pleaded no contest to setting the blaze. Investigators say the former volunteer was caught on camera settingMore >>
An arson at the Albany Fire Department was an inside job.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:26 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:26:03 GMT
There was a plea deal for a man who triggered a 5 hour standoff in Newport last fall. Derek Niles pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment Tuesday. He got a deferred sentence and will be on probationMore >>
There was a plea deal for a man who triggered a 5 hour standoff in Newport last fall. More >>