Why is it Important to Make Sure an Online College is Accredited?

With more and more employers requiring candidates for employment to possess either a degree or equivalent experience, many people are choosing to go back to school. If you are ready to take the leap and you prefer to attend an online school to earn your degree, it is important to compare several different schools before you apply for admissions. Many prospective students visit websites to compare the degree programs available and to price the cost of tuition, but cost and degree options are not the only factors to keep in mind. There are both accredited online schools and schools without their accreditation, and it is in any students best interest to invest time and money attending a school with accreditation. Here is your guide to understanding why accreditation is important.

What is an Accreditation and Why is It Important?

If you do not understand what an accreditation is, it is difficult to place importance on finding an accredited school. Accreditation is a method of quality assurance that was developed by various universities and agencies over 100 years ago. In an effort to distinguish schools and degree programs, the regional and specialized accrediting bodies will require that schools adhere to a set of academic standards to earn the honor of being listed as an accredited school.

On the postsecondary platform, there are several different reputable agencies that are recognized by the Government as legitimate bodies that set quality educational standards. There are 4 regional bodies that accredit schools on a national level, and dozens and dozens of specialized bodies that accredit programs rather than schools. When you are choosing a school, it is important to focus on selecting a school that has earned a national accreditation first. The next step would be sifting further through your list to choose a degree with a programmatic accreditation.

Does the Credential Really Matter in the Long Run?

Schools must apply for accreditation and pass evaluations to earn this credential, but is it really worth spending the time to find an accredited online school if it is a voluntary credential? The answer to this question is most definitely yes. Failing to select a school with accreditation can land you in hot water during your student career and later on in your professional life. First, all schools must be accredited by a regional body that is recognized by the US Department of Education to give students access to Federal financial aide in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. If you want access to Federal funding, military tuition assistance, or government tuition assistance, the only way to gain access is to select a school from the accreditation database.

Another factor to consider is your future life as a professional. Many employers will not recognize an online degree if it is obtained from a school that is not accredited. If you want to attend a graduate program in the future, the credits you have earned may not be transferable. You do not want to have to repeat all of the classes you have completed just to achieve your goals.

Choose an accredited online school that is committed to meeting the high standards that are set by non-governmental accrediting bodies. By doing this, you will build professional skills without disrupting your current lifestyle. When it comes to your future, you can’t go wrong by choosing an accredited online school at which to earn your college degree.