WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) Getting an education is expensive but it’s worth it as long as it helps you get ahead.  Only some students are finding their diplomas are worthless.

Many people are turning to the internet to fit classes into their busy schedule. The only problem is, for some people, their first lesson learned, is they didn’t do enough research on the school. We all know life can be busy, which is why so many students are turning to the internet to get their degrees online.

“I have a couple of friends who’ve done that, they’re people who are older, they have families careers, they just wanted to better themselves and found that to be an acceptable way to do it,”  said University of New Haven student Christopher Meffert.

It’s only convenient if the degree you get in the end is worth something. According to the Better Business Bureau some alleged “diploma mills” have cost students hundreds of dollars and in the end, they get a fake diploma!

Here are a few red flags to look out for:

-Consider it suspicious when you’re paying per degree rather than credit hours.

– If they’re offering package deals to students looking to earn two degrees as once.

– And if they guarantee a degree within a few days, weeks or months.

-another red flag is a diploma awarded on life experience and require little to no work.

Students say it’s easy to fall into a trap when life is busy and you’re trying to get ahead.

“It’s very appealing to a lot of people when they offer college courses on fast tracks. Get your degree in a year. It’s very appealing to a lot of people,” added UNH student Joseph Ricci.

Students have discovered the hard way that the fast track doesn’t always pay.  They try to get a job, into higher education or the military only to discover their degrees are worthless. The easiest way to be sure a prospective online school is accredited is to check with the Better Business Bureau.