On Your Side: Diploma Dilemma

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, June 5, 2007

MARTINEZ, Ga.---Imagine getting what you think is a high school diploma, only to find out it isn't worth the paper it's printed on for admission to most colleges.

It's called the Cornerstone Christian Correspondence School.

School officials claim their diplomas are good at many colleges around the country.

Trouble is, when we called them, they couldn't tell us what any of them were.

"I was in labor for a good couple of hours." Cornerstone graduate Amber Whitaker said.

Amber made a tough choice not too long ago when she didn't finish high school.

"I quit school cause I got pregnant." she said.

But she didn't want that to stop her life, she wanted to get a high school equivalency diploma to go to college. A friend recommended the Cornerstone Christian Correspondence School.

"I called 'em and they told me to send in $75 and they'd send me 5 test which were language arts, science, social studies and so on." she said.

She passed the tests and got her diploma, but that's when things got a little strange.

"I went to Georgia Military College to register for school and they told me I couldn't register because they didn't accept the diploma." she said.

12 On Your Side called Cornerstone, which is located just outside of Brunswick, Georgia, for some answers.

A school representative told us the diploma is good at many colleges, but when we asked which ones, the representative couldn't name any with certainty.

The school is accredited by the accrediting commission international, but that's not an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the military.

That means the school doesn't meet government standards and the diploma won't be accepted by the thousands of state colleges and universities around the country.

For now, Amber is making the best of things. She's working on getting her G.E.D., which will allow her to start college and get her life moving again.

"I didn't want to stop and not do anything with the rest of my life." she said.

We did call the Richmond County Board of Education and there is no waiting list to take the G.E.D.

You can just pay your $65 and take the test.

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