Accredited Online Colleges

Accredited Online Colleges are those institutions whose program and degrees meet acceptable standards of quality set by any of the independent accreditation agencies in the United States.

Accredited Online Colleges

The accreditation agencies ensure that the institutions maintain certain minimum standards in terms of curriculum, quality of instructions and qualified faculty members.

While being accredited does not mean an institution is top quality, accreditation helps to draw the line between genuine online colleges and those fly-by-night diploma mills and scams that take your money and give you “diplomas” that are worth no more than the papers they were written on.

Why is it important to enroll in an accredited school?

Just like you would not entrust your health to a doctor that is not board certified to practice medicine, you should not entrust your education in the hands of an unaccredited institution.

There are even more practical reasons why you should avoid unaccredited online schools:

  • Employers may not accept credentials you obtained from unaccredited schools for employment or promotion
  • Your employer may not refund your tuition or give you other educational benefits if you enrolled in an unaccredited online institution
  • You may not qualify for federal government-backed student loan programs
  • Credits earned from an unaccredited institution may not be accepted for transfer to an accredited school
  • Your degree will not be accepted for admission into a graduate or professional program.
  • In affect, enrolling in an unaccredited program could amount to waste of time and resources.

Bottom line: stay away from diploma mills.

How can I find if an Online College is accredited?

As you search for an online school or program, one of the first things you want to ensure is that the college or program you are considering is accredited.

There are six regional accreditation boards in the United States:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • North Central Association of Schools and Colleges
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

In addition, US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognize the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) as the accrediting organization for distance learning institutions and educational programs that offer online degrees.

Search the websites of your interested online colleges or universities to see which board granted their accreditation, and then verify for yourself from that accreditation board’s site. If your interested online school does not tell you up front if they are accredited or not, you can always call them to ask, and or run your own independent check using the College Board website.

Always remember, there are many fake online colleges out there on the internet, waiting like sharks to gobble your hard-earned money. Do not fall prey to them. Do your homework. Insist only on accredited online colleges and universities.