On Your Side: Diploma Dilemma

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

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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  • by Mike Location: New York on May 12, 2012 at 03:56 PM
    @Deonte, if you're referring to ACI as being the accredited agency for this school then you have fallen in line with all the people who have been scammed. That agency is bogus. Just look for information regarding it and you might be surprised at what you find. Cornerstone Christian Correspondence School is a diploma mill and also their is another school with a similar name that is recognized by the Department of Education. The question that should've been asked after you see if a school is accredited is "Whom is the school accredited by?"
  • by Mike Location: New Jersey on May 12, 2012 at 08:07 AM
    You can use the Internet to check if a school is accredited by a legitimate organization at a new database of accredited academic institutions, posted by the U.S. Department of Education at ope.ed.gov/accreditation. To find out if an accrediting agency is legitimate, check the list of recognized national and regional accrediting agencies maintained by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation at chea.org. If this school is accredited it must meet the standard s of the Department of Education. Unfortunately accrediting commission international is non government and has been deemed fake. More information about ACI has been included in a Wiki page with some startling facts. If you're going to college with this type of diploma chances are the institution just didn't care to review this and just wanted your money. If you're in the military then perhaps you got in during the quota. Where they accept you no matter what. Research, research, research.
  • by deonte Location: chicago illinois on Feb 18, 2012 at 12:36 AM
    My caseworker partner told me they they accept it longs its accredited in I told her who its accredited by acreditng commission internaional in she said yes they axcept it in I did research cornerstone is not in us it a regional program not nation the diffrence is that the us don't recognize it but its accredited is what they realy wanna know in who there acredited by is and of a stae suppport education system in a interernational program is known by the state in is acredited also in ask the administrater she said check in see if the state will so todAy I called my case manager partner in told her the info on them in she said yes there acredited in the state will except it
  • by John Location: Brunswick on Oct 7, 2011 at 12:15 PM
    Its stated in bold print that it has limitations, there is no excuse for someone to claim they were fooled! There are many people that have jobs here in this area because our plant manager sent the applicants to Cornerstone for testing! If it works for that, then its OK in my book!
  • by Martin Donnovan Location: Alanta, Georgia on Aug 13, 2011 at 06:03 PM
    I stand behind the diploma that I received through the program offered by the Cornerstone Christian Correspondence School located in Georgia. I was 47 years of age while driving trucks cross country and did not have time for traditional studies in class. With the opportunity afforded by their program, I received by diploma, and now I've been attending college for 2 years majoring in web design and marketing. I am also an accomplished writer since starting college and I've published numerous articles on the Internet. I've researched the issue of accreditation of certificates as well as diplomas. First of all, because Cornerstone Christian Correspondence School is a Faith-Based Organization, they are accredited by a Faith-Based International Organization. As a graduate of CCCS, I feel that it is only justified they I come to their defense, not to try and sell the school on anyone, but to clarify the subject of accreditation for those of you who may have read the one-sided biased article written by the reporter. Please take some time to educate yourself about the diverse subject of accreditation before you make an unjustified opinion Christians Schools that are accredited. For more information on accreditation go to: Regional-accreditation-vs-National-accreditation this website will help to clarify any true questions about the diverse types of accreditation. http://www.elearners.com/guide/online-colleges-universities-and-schools/regional-accreditation-vs-national-accreditation/
  • by tammie Location: opelika, al on Jul 13, 2011 at 12:58 PM
    Im having the same issues as this young lady and many others. My aunt actually told me about cornerstone. When I called for more information about the school, they told me that they will send five test dor me to take. And that it only cost $85.00. But when I got my test, they sent me a piece of paper stating that, due to the increase on the price of postage i had to send $10.00 more dollars. I passed all the test that i was given, got my dipolma. And now Im learning that I cant get into I.T.T.Technical Institute and other colleges, because my diploma wont be accepted by these schools.
  • by juju Location: sc on Jun 4, 2011 at 07:14 AM
    okayy ii got my diplonia from cornerstone christain is there any possible way i can atend a technical college?
  • by AndieD. Location: Japan on May 29, 2011 at 11:22 AM
    I know a lot of people say that you can't use the diploma to get into the military, but I am currently in the US Navy using this diploma. I will know more about it when I get out of the service in 6 months, but hopefully the school that I want to go to will accept it because the Military already accepted it. It makes me angry and nervous that I may have to take GED classes because I was home-schooled and have been out of school since '06. I know that my Aunt, whom also received a diploma from Cornerstone, is currently going to college at Southeast Missouri State University. So, some schools do accept it.
  • by Jay Location: New York on May 26, 2011 at 08:13 PM
    I graduated in 2004 and just found out that my diploma is not accepted @ the nursing school I'm trying to go to. Now they're telling me that I need to go back to school or get my GED.
  • by D Location: St. Paul, MN on Mar 25, 2011 at 11:14 AM
    I also paid for this online ***** school and the college that I want to go to doesn't accept this fake diploma therefore I went and got my actual GED which cost the same. Now I want my money back from this fake Cornerstone Christian Correspondence School.
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