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Institution agrees to refund students misled by its high school diploma program.
Stratford Career Institute advertised that its high school diploma program would “open up many doors.” But after paying hundreds of dollars for the online course, graduates often had the door slam shut on them when they attempted to use the diplomas to apply for a better paying job or further their education, according to the FTC, which recently reached a $250,000 settlement with the for-profit institution.
Prospective employers and college admissions officers in many cases told graduates that the piece of paper they received from Stratford was not equivalent to a traditional high school diploma, despite online ads for the program that appeared under searches for “official high school diploma” and “real high school diploma online,” according to the agency’s complaint.
Both current and former students, who paid as much as $989 to enroll, are eligible for partial refunds.
In response to the settlement, which bans the school from making false claims about any of its educational programs, Stratford acknowledged in a post on its website the “scope and limitations” of its high school course.
If you’re looking into earning a high school equivalency diploma online, check to see if the program’s accredited. And remember that obtaining a high school diploma over the internet is but one of many signs of a possible diploma mill.
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