Is Your Online College Accredited?

With the growing trend of more students looking to get their degrees online, there is myriad of schools, degree mills, and other shady institutions which might not. Be accredited. We aim to help you filter out all the schools which are not accredited.

Why is it important that your school is accredited? Well, the answer to that question is quite simple. Employers want employees who are knowledgeable and competent in the fields they are about to be hired into. To insure this, there are many accreditation bodies which are regional, state, and national. For a school to be fully accredited by these bodies, they have to go through a rigorous program in which they are certified in the fields they are supposed to be educating their students in.

Accreditation bodies are different and there are many. What makes it more tricky is that some employers might not recognize the smaller accreditation bodies, so when enrolling in an online college or university, you want to make sure that the school is at least accredited by one of the national or state accreditation bodies or both.

How do I know if a school is accredited? Basically, if you go with any one of the major universities or state universities, you should be in good shape. Many state universities do have online programs, some of them, such as ASU and the University of Phoenix are very well known for their online programs, as they are some of the first pioneers in the industry.

According to a report from US News & World Report, many of the low budget online colleges and universities will use accreditation mills to get their accreditation. These use names which can be misleading and many times the credentials differ from the legitimate accreditation bodies.

Students are not only in danger of attending falsely accredited colleges, but also falling victim to the many degree mills. What is a degree mill? Well, degree mills or diploma mills, which are criminal organizations who generate diplomas or certificates from legitimate institutions. These degree mills are a menace, because though the degrees and certificates may resemble those from prestigious or well known accredited colleges and universities, they are actually counterfeit.

One easy way to check if what you are about to enroll in is a degree mill is to check if the course work is quick and easy or requires little work. If this is the case, chances are you are not earning a legitimate degree. Most legitimate online colleges which are accredited will have an actual workload and will require you to take classes online, take exams, and all the other requirements a typical brick and mortar college will require.

Does the government accredit colleges and universities? Not really, this is why it can be so difficult to find out whether a school is legitimately accredited or not. Typically, accreditation bodies are nongovernmental organizations or NGOs which are dedicated to education and they usually run a rigorous process for the institution to accredit them. Officials from these organizations personally visit the schools in question, check all the things a legitimate school should have and determine whether that school should be granted the authority to issue degrees. In many cases, these organizations observe the curricula of the programs, finance, financial aid, and more to make their final determination.

How do I verify accreditation? Well, this can be easier than you think. Typically, as mentioned above, most state universities are accredited, but to check on a private university which you think is prestigious or are led to believe is prestigious or has a legitimate background, you can easily check the CHEA or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

The CHEA is one of the leading bodies which guarantee a school’s accreditation. The website is a great resource for those of you who are looking for an accredited college and want to be certain that the time and money you spend to earn that degree which will land your dream career will not go under false hopes.

One of the biggest reasons why the CHEA can be trusted is that this organization works closely with the US Department of Education and has stringent core principles when looking to accredit a college or university. The CHEA also lists all the regional and state accreditation bodies which are also legitimate bodies. This is very important because many accreditation mills will use names of accreditation bodies which sound similar, and can mislead you into believing they are legitimate organization. Armed with this information you shouldn’t have any problem finding a good school.

The CHEA has a wide variety of resources which can help you find the right school for you. All you need to do is explore their website by clicking here.

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