SARASOTA (WWSB) - Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a court action in Hillsborough County on Monday to shut down what she calls a Florida diploma mill.
The action comes after complaints against Ellenwood Academy, LLC for deceptive marketing of illegitimate high school diplomas to consumers in Florida and nationwide. The organization allegedly charges consumers $195 to enroll in a high school program and take an exam but does not employ any faculty or provide any instruction for consumers.
Ellenwood diplomas are not accepted for admission to any school on Florida’s State University System.
“There are no shortcuts to success, yet diploma mills continue to falsely market easy alternatives to the hard work it takes to earn an education," Moody said. "Students often enroll with the goal of obtaining a diploma to advance their careers, but often leave with a worthless piece of paper. Anyone who encounters a diploma mill should report it to my office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.”
Ellenwood Academy’s website is claiming to produce accredited high school diplomas that will give consumers the credentials required for most jobs, but the State Attorney General says it only requires passing score on a multiple-choice exam that it allows consumers to retake as many times as needed.
Moody says the academy also claims to be registered with the Florida Department of Education, but it isn’t. Consumers tell the Attorney General that they couldn’t get or keep a job using a diploma from Ellenwood.