Education News

Texas Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Alleged Houston ‘Diploma Mills’

State attorneys also froze the accounts of the two online schools.


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Lincoln Academy screenshot
The Texas Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against LincolnAcademy and its affiliate Brownstone Academy, alleging they have deceptive trade practices and sell ‘bogus’ online high school diplomas to consumers nationwide. [Lincoln Academy screenshot]

If you’re working and trying to finish high school, this ad on YouTube sounds like a great deal. It’s from the Lincoln Academy based here in Houston.

“We’re an online high school program and our diploma is accepted by four-year universities, community colleges and trade schools nationwide.”

That degree costs $229.

Except the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says these diplomas are worthless.

State attorneys have filed a lawsuit against Lincoln Academy and a related school, the Brownstone Academy.

They say the school directors violated trade practices and their academies are actually diploma mills, selling ‘bogus’ degrees.

“Students may have thought that they were getting something of value when they completed this coursework or took these tests when in reality what they truly were selling was a piece of paper that did not have any value at all,” says Jerry Strickland with the Attorney General’s office.

The lawsuit says that the directors created a fake accreditation agency to give their schools a sense of legitimacy.

But Strickland says no real accrediting group recognizes them.

“Neither Lincoln Academy nor Brownstone Academy qualifies as a homeschool nor any other authorized entity to provide GED testing, and so they are making these claims when in essence they haven’t backed that up by having state accreditation.”

State attorneys convinced a district court to freeze the accounts of these schools.

They were also issued a temporary restraining order and are not supposed to take more money from students.

An employee at the Lincoln Academy’s office said no one was available to comment.

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