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How To Know If My College Is Accredited

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What Are The Different Types Of Accreditation

How to Find Out if a College or University is Accredited

Colleges and universities can be accredited as a whole as can specific departments within them . When most people talk about accreditation at the undergraduate level, they are referring to the institutional kind. Students enrolled in career or graduate programs should see if their programs have more specialized accreditations.

National Vs Regional Accreditation: What’s The Difference

While looking into a school’s accreditation status, consider what type of accreditation the school holds. Schools can hold two different types of accreditation: regional or national. Typically considered the “gold standard” of accreditation, regional accreditation dates back further, and 85% of schools hold regional accreditation. It serves as the most common form of accreditation, and also the more prestigious, as it dictates stricter academic standards. Regional accreditation agencies oversee schools based on geographic location, with each agency covering certain groups of states.

These six regional accreditation agencies include the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the Higher Learning Commission, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. Nonprofit and state-owned institutions tend to hold regional accreditation, while for-profit schools often have national accreditation.

  • Redâ Higher Learning Commission
  • Blueâ Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Yellowâ New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Orangeâ Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Greenâ Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Light Blueâ Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Search The Us Department Of Education Database

Within the website for the United States Department of Education, there is a Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. The database is quite easy and convenient to search through the hundreds of institutions and find out if the desired online college has been properly accredited. Students can search by the name of the institution, city, state, address, or accrediting agency. If the specific school being searched for does not appear, it is recommended that the school name be entered in a different format. For instance, searching for UCLA may not return any results, but typing University of California-Los Angeles will be more successful.

Once results have been found, locate the college name that was intended and click to bring up its main profile page. The profile includes a verified address, phone number, identification number, and most importantly the agency of accreditation. Click on the name of the agency to discover a wealth of information about the accreditation, standards, and contact information for the agency president. Furthermore, the college profile page cites all specialized accreditations, as well as accredited internships or residency programs. Specialized, also called programmatic, accreditations are applied to the evaluation of a specific department, program, or school that is a recognized part of the overall institution.

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What Is Institutional Accreditation

Institutional accreditation is a type of accreditation that applies to the entire school. It considers each program as a part of the whole, so it does not accredit departments individually. The idea is that all departments of an institutionally accredited school are maintaining overall standards, but there is no guarantee that each is contributing equally. Some programs may be stronger than others.

There are two types of institutional accreditation: regional and national. An accredited institution can be either regionally or nationally accredited, but not both. One type is not necessarily better than the other they both follow CHEA and/or USDE standards. Once a school has either type of accreditation, its students may use federal financial aid, such as loans, grants, and work-study, to pay for educational costs. When they graduate, their degrees will be competitive and legitimate. While both types of accreditation are valid, there are some key differences between the two.

Checking United States Department Of Education Accreditation Listings

How do I know if a college is accredited?

Go to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Search page.

Enter the name of the online school you would like to research. You don’t need to enter information in any other field. Then hit “search.” You’ll be shown a school or several schools that match your search criteria. Click on the school you’re looking for.

The selected school’s accreditation information will appear. Make sure this page is about the school you’re seeking by comparing the website, phone number, and address information you see at the top left with the information you already have.

You can view the college’s institutional or specialized accreditation on this page. Click on the accrediting agency for more information. In addition to accreditation status, this information includes the accrediting agency, the date the school was originally accredited, the most recent accreditation action, and the next review date.

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Find The School’s Credentials

Licensing and accreditation are the bare-minimum credentials a school should have. But theyre not foolproof measures of quality colleges like ITT Tech and Corinthian were both licensed and accredited.

Having a license means the school meets state standards to operate, although not all states require one.

Accreditation means a school meets standards set by one of the national or regional private agencies the U.S. Department of Education recognizes. Accreditation is the only way schools can get money from federal and state student aid programs. That also means if a school isnt accredited, you wont have access to federal loans and grants to pay for school.

Contact the licensing and accrediting agencies affiliated with a school to confirm its in good standing.

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Northwest Commission On Colleges And Universities

USDE has recognized NWCCU as a legit accrediting agency since 1952. In 2018 and 2019, respectively, the Redmond, Washington-based non-profit organization was re-recognized by USDE and CHEA.

Higher learning institutions accredited by NWCCU are those that are located in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and British Columbia. It also accredits schools in domestic and international geographic areas. There are more than 150 colleges and universities that are accredited by NWCCU as of this writing.

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What Is The Benefit Of Having An Accredited Degree In The Job Market

How will employers view an accredited degree versus a non-accredited degree?

The Benefits of Having a Degree

The benefits of having a degree in the job market are tremendous. Workers with an associate’s degree earn an average of 25% more than workers with only a high school diploma, and workers with a bachelor’s earn over 70% more. For many jobs, having a degree is necessary to be hired at all, or to be promoted beyond a certain level. The benefits of higher education are projected to increase in coming years.

The Importance of Being Accredited

However, it cannot be just any degree. Obtaining an accredited degree is absolutely essential if you hope to garner the career success you deserve. Accreditation is a process in which outside agencies evaluate a school’s programs to ensure that they meet applicable academic standards. Without accreditation, it is impossible for employers to know whether your diploma is from a legitimate institution or whether it is from a diploma millâa company that offers degrees in exchange for money and little academic work. Academic institutions are equally skeptical of degrees from non-accredited schools, so it can be extremely difficult to transfer credits from a non-accredited institution to an accredited one.

Knowing your Accreditation Agencies

Article Resources: Back To Top

Find Out If Your Online School Is Accredited & Learn How To Spot A Fake

How Do You Know A Course Or A College Is Accredited?

Accreditation is a form of certification in which an independent body will verify that a school or academic program meets minimum academic standards. It ensures that the academic credential a student works so hard to obtain means something substantial, and that it will be recognized as such by employers and other post-secondary institutions. Given the time and monetary cost of a college education, prospective students must make sure their chosen school and/or program is accredited. Learn more and find out how to determine if a particular school or program is accredited.

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Checking Council For Higher Education Accreditation Listings

You may also use the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website to search for accredited online institutions. The process is much the same as with the USDE search, though at the CHEA site you must agree to the terms and conditions before reaching the search field. Also, the CHEA page provides less information than the USDE page.

You also can access a chart comparing CHEA and USDE recognition.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Attending A Nonaccredited School

If the college you choose to attend is not accredited, be aware:

  • You will not be eligible for any federal financial aid, such as grants, loans, or work-study.
  • In most states, you will not be eligible for state-based financial aid.
  • Future employers may be suspicious of your qualifications. They may pass over your application, instead favoring a candidate who earned a degree at an accredited institution.
  • If you intend to transfer schools in the future, your prospective school probably wont accept any credits from a nonaccredited college. If you transfer to an accredited institution, you may have to retake all or some of the credits you passed at the nonaccredited school.

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What Is A Diploma Mill

Diploma mills disguise themselves as real schools, when instead they are fake and deceptive companies that provide customers with a credential in return for payment. They may have convincing names, but they are not schools. Sometimes they offer fake transcripts and references as part of the deal. Other diploma mills will try to justify their services by saying that they award academic credit for life experiences. People who pay diploma mills may never have to open a book, write an essay, or take a test to receive a degree or certificate. These credentials are not recognized by academic institutions or the workforce.

Diploma mills are never accredited. No recognized agency would ever issue accreditation to a school that outright sells diplomas or gives them out based on a persons life experiences. Receiving a degree will never be immediate. It requires study, hard work, and time. If you shell out big bucks for a degree, make sure they go toward tuition, not a fake certificate.

Q Anything Else You Might Like To Add About Accreditation

How Do I Find Out If My School Is Accredited

Accreditation can be an important form of assessment as a student chooses a particular program or university/college. The key is regional accreditation, especially as it relates to Title IV federal funding . Regional accreditation is also the âcommon denominatorâ among varied universities â a real âapple to appleâ comparison. Specialized or programmatic accreditations should be taken with a grain of salt. There are several great degree programs that may not have specialized accreditation for any variety of reasons â so donât dismiss a school that may lack that accreditation in your field of interest . As with many other factors, accreditation is one of many tools a student can use to help them make the right choice when it comes to college.

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Check Accreditation Then Dig Deeper

Accreditation ensures that schools or programs uphold certain standards, but it may not always ensure total quality. For that reason, students should always consider accreditation status a top priority when researching schools but also consider a variety of other factors in their search. Consider things like graduation and retention rates, job placement rates, and exam pass rates and speak to current students about their experience. These things can further indicate a school’s overall quality and performance and help students make an informed decision about which accredited online college to attend.

Checking Course Accreditation In South Africa

If you are interested in studying a National Qualification, make sure that the course is in fact registered and accredited.

To confirm the status of the qualification, visit the South African Qualifications Authority website at They will be able to confirm whether the course is recognised on the NQF.

Need more info/want to register?Fill in the form below.

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Visit The Colleges Website

Colleges and universities will do just about anything and everything they can in order to attract some of the brightest students out there.

One of the things that many of them do is brag about being accredited. And to make sure that no one will miss that fact, they usually say so on the homepage of their respective websites.

Sometimes, you may have to open the About Us page to find out about a schools accreditation status.

While youre at it, check out when was the last time its accreditor renewed its accreditation colleges have to ask their accreditors to conduct a review and renew their accreditation periodically.

Who Ensures That My School Or Program Is Accredited

How to check if your college is ACWA accredited or not by sachit malla

Accrediting agencies, also called accreditors or accrediting bodies, oversee the process. These private, nonprofit organizations are responsible for granting accreditation to schools that meet specific criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation .

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What Is The Difference Between National And Regional Institutional Accreditation

There are a few other ways that regionally accredited and nationally accredited institutions differ:

Regionally-Accredited Institution

Nationally-Accredited Institution

Considered the most prestigious and widely-recognized type of accreditation, regionally-accredited schools are reviewed by their designated regional agency.

Nationally-accredited agencies review institutions of a similar type, such as career, vocational, and technical schools.

May be more expensive than nationally-accredited schools.

May be less expensive than regionally-accredited schools.

More selective during the admissions process.

Has more relaxed admission standards.

Mostly academic, non-profit institutions .

Predominantly for-profit institutions . They may also have shareholders they must answer to.

Typically, regionally-accredited schools do not accept credits from nationally-accredited schools.Credits are easily transferred to other regionally-accredited schools.

Typically, nationally-accredited schools will accept credits from both regionally- and nationally-accredited schools.Credits are not transferable to a regionally-accredited college.

Eligible for all corporate tuition reimbursement plans.

Employers do accept nationally accredited degrees, but graduates are not always eligible for corporate tuition reimbursement plans.

Regional Vs National Accreditation: Why Does It Matter

One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a college or university is whether or not your institution of choice is accredited nationally or regionally at the institutional level. The type of accreditation plays a role in areas that may impact you as both a student and after graduation .

Learn more about differences between national and regional institutional accreditation, why its important that your institution is accredited, and tips to help verify your college or universitys accreditation status.

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Search For A School With A Track Record

Use the education departments College Scorecard or College Navigator tool for details on a schools performance. This includes graduate rates and rates of return after a student’s first year.

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The scorecard can also show graduates’ salaries and how many students earn incomes that are above workers with only a high school diploma. These details are important because you want to attend a school only if youre confident youll earn enough to make the program worthwhile, says Jordan Matsudaira, associate professor of economics and education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University.

A lot of for-profit colleges and surprisingly online programs relative to the most traditional brick-and-mortar school program, tend to be more expensive, Matsudaira says. That would be justifiable in some sense if the more extensive programs produced better earnings gains, but that doesnt appear to be the case.

What Does It Mean If My College Is Unaccredited

How Do I Find Out If My School Is Accredited

If youre unfamiliar with accreditation, you may want to check out our article about what accreditation is and how it works.

Despite accreditations benefits, some educational organizations do not have accreditation. This article looks at two topics related to unaccredited colleges.

  • Possible reasons a college is unaccredited
  • How a colleges unaccredited status affects students
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    What Is Regional Accreditation How Do I Know If My School Is Regionally Accredited

    Accreditation is a process of external review used by the higher education community to assure quality and ongoing improvement. A regional accrediting agency is recognized by the Federal Department of Education and will accredit entire colleges and universities within a designated region of the United States. Most nonprofit institutions are regionally accredited.

    To find out if your school is regionally accredited, use the link for your schools region from the table below.

    Regional Accreditation Agency

    Will I Lose Credits If I Transfer

    If youre transferring institutions, its possible that you may not lose any credits. However, two-thirds of students do. No matter the accreditation of your former institution, its important to speak to a colleges transfer credit evaluator to know where you stand and how many of your credits will transfer. Students transferring for the first time lost an average of 13 semester credit hours nearly 1/10th of the total amount of semester credits required to graduate with a bachelors degree. Thats the equivalent of having to complete an additional semester in order to graduate.

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    Check The Accreditation History

    You can always check if an online education institution has accreditation history available on the department or council sites.

    Even good schools can sometimes do things, or have things happen, that may jeopardize their accreditation,”

    Jennifer Mathes, director of strategic partnerships for OLC

    Checking colleges and universities accreditation history will let you know if the school had any issues in the past and if these have been dealt with.

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