Online college classes are an attractive option to different student groups for various reasons--but students should know how to spot a "diploma mill," or a school operating without the supervision of state or professional education agencies.

With more than 5.7 million students taking at least some of their higher-ed courses online, these diploma mills, or degree mills, are poised to award illegitimate degrees to unsuspecting students.

An online check by one group revealed more than 370 educational websites offering fraudulent degrees for those willing to pay.

In one instance, a man was accused of starting a fake university and doling out...

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About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura