HOW TO CHOOSE AN ONLINE COLLEGE?
Verifying a schools accreditation should be a top priority for any student applying to college. Accreditation status can impact your ability to apply for financial aid or transfer credits. Accreditation status should be available on each schools official website.
Step 1: Check the Accreditation Status Verifying a schools accreditation should be a top priority for any student applying to college. Accreditation status can impact your ability to apply for financial aid or transfer credits. Accreditation status should be available on each schools official website. Students can also verify a schools status through the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education (CHEA). Both maintain lists of recognized regional, national, and programmatic accrediting agencies. Why does accreditation matter? Accreditation matters because it sets quality standards meant to ensure that your degree holds value. Employers and graduate schools know that if you hold a degree from an accredited online school, then you graduated from a program that meets the rigorous requirements for accreditation. In contrast, an unaccredited degree can cost you more than job offers. Graduates of diploma mills risk leaving school with debt and nothing to show for it but a degree that isnt recognized by employers, graduate schools, or professional certifying agencies. Always verify that an online college is accredited. National vs. Regional Accreditation Colleges are accredited by either regional or national agencies. Regionally accredited colleges are typically nonprofit and state-operated. In the U.S., there are seven regional accrediting agencies that evaluate two-year and four-year colleges. Some states also have their own accrediting bodies independent of the regional agencies. You can learn more about each individual agency, and its jurisdiction, through the Office of Postsecondary Education. Most nationally accredited colleges are for-profit and meet lower academic standards than their regional counterparts. Students considering a nationally accredited online college should research the schools reputation and understand how academic standards differ from regionally accredited schools. Its important to note that most nationally accredited schools will accept transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities, but the opposite is not always true. Students should also be wary of accreditation mills that offer genuine-looking but ultimately phony endorsements to schools.