Going to college has become incredibly expensive nowadays as compared to the rates over a decade ago. But since its quite challenging to get a good job without a college degree, taking on higher education is essential as well.
With the tens of thousands and the years of your life you are going to spend, how can you be certain that your college degree will account for anything when it comes to real life? Answer: accreditation.
Let’s look into what it means and why the accreditation of a college is important.
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What Is Accreditation of A College?
Simply put, accreditation is an extensive process by which higher education institutes are checked for quality. An accredited school would have undergone the process, which means that the institute meets the set standards, and it is fully qualified to teach its programs.
Getting into a program at a school that is not accredited just because it’s more affordable isn’t a good option. Actually, it isn’t an option at all. The reason is that a diploma or degree from a non-accredited school is worthless. Employers will probably not accept it. You may also not be able to use the credits you have earned to transfer to an accredited college later.
You must check college accreditation registries online to determine whether the school you want to attend is accredited or not. It’s an incredibly simple process, as you only have to search the name.
How Are Colleges Accredited?
Somebody is telling you about something, but how do you know it’s true? You check the foundation of it.
At the head of the accreditation process is the U.S. Dept. of Education or the USDE. The USDE utilizes a strict approach to assess regional and national accreditors. The accreditors that are verified by the USDE can evaluate the legitimacy and quality of a higher education institute. Also, each school must be accredited every five years.
Other than the USDE, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or the CHEA, is also able to accredit accreditors.
Regional and National Accreditation: What Is the Difference?
You may have seen there are two types of accreditors mentioned above: regional and national. Learning the difference between these can be very important in terms of credit transfers.
- Credits from any nationally accredited colleges are typically not accepted by a regionally accredited educational institution.
- Credits form any regionally credited universities are not accepted in colleges that are in other regions.
- Credits gained in a regionally accredited institution can be transferred to another school in the same region.
Understanding these three points is crucial before you decide what college you want to go to. Unless you don’t wish or think that you will ever need to transfer out of the college that you initially join.
However, you still need to contact the schools you want to attend or the one you currently attend. Find out the type of accreditation they have. Then, you can use the online registries to check the college’s accreditation. Also, make sure that the accreditor is legitimate and the right one for the institute.