Why does college accreditation matter?

p>With all the online universities and distance learning programs popping up on the Internet lately, how can you choose the one that's best for you? The first place you should look is to see if the online college or university is accredited. This is a major signal about the character and quality of a program. If the university is accredited, find out more about their accreditation. Since anyone can start a college or university accreditation agency and accredit any school, make sure the accrediting agency is legitimate and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Accreditation. Do the research first, choose only online accredited degree programs, and save yourself major hassles later!

According to the US Department of Education, college accreditation is used by students and universities alike to:


  • verify that an college or university meets established standards
  • assist students in identifying acceptable colleges or universities
  • assist colleges and universities in determining theh acceptability of transfer creditshelp identify colleges and universities for the investment of public and private funds
  • create goals for self-improvement and raising of standards among educational institutions
  • involve faculty and staff in institutional evaluation and planning
  • establish criteria for professional certification and licensure and for upgrading courses offering such preparation
  • provide criteria used as a basis for receiving federal financial assistance

Regional Accreditation Agencies
The following regional accreditation agencies have been recognized by one or both of the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Accreditation:

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