What are the Benefits of Choosing an Accredited College or University?

When you decide to go back to college, you cannot just enroll in courses at any school. If you really want to build your skills and earn a valuable degree in the discipline of your choice, you will need to take time to research each institution that has made your list. You want to choose an institution that has quality curriculum, advanced educational platforms, dedicated professors, and high graduation rates, but you also need to choose a school that is accredited. Accreditation is more than just a special seal, it the seal of approval showing that an accrediting body has assessed the school and determined that the school delivers a quality education as promised. Read on and learn about the types of accreditation as well as all of the benefits of accreditation.

What Types of Accreditation Are There?

As you compare different schools and different programs, you must understand what type of accreditation that a program holds before you apply. There are two very general types of accreditation: institutional and programmatic. When you select a school with an institutional accreditation, this means that the entire college is accredited by a regional or national accrediting body. There are 6 regional bodies and then also national specialized bodies that accredit specialized colleges.

The second type of accreditation is a programmatic credential, and this means that only a specific program within the school is accredited by a professional accrediting body. The agency could be specialized based on the sector, the degree-level, the profession, and the industry. Programmatic accreditation will review graduation rates for a specific program, the curriculum, and testing scores, and not the institution indicators like a regional body would.

Why Should You Choose a School with an Institutional Accreditation?

One of the main reasons why you should apply to a school with a regional or national accreditation is because it is an assurance that you will receive a quality education and get what you pay for in terms of paying for your tuition. The entire purpose of going to school is to gain the skills you need to succeed in a specific field, and the schools that have earned the honorable credentials have been proven to deliver education that builds valuable skills. Employers also give preferential treatment to graduates who have a degree from an accredited school.

In addition to assurance, selecting an accredited school that has been recognized by a national or regional will ensure that you can apply for financial aide while you are in school. If you attend a school that is not accredited by a body that is approved by the United States Department of Education, you cannot apply for Federal Financial Aide or state-funded grants. If you need aide to afford to attend school, you need to choose a postsecondary school that has applied and been accepted to accept FASFA applications. Here is a list of schools that the Department currently recognizes.

Choose a school that has access to federal aide and that has proven that they deliver a quality education. Do your homework before you pay to go to school, and research a school’s standing. As long as you know the school is accredited, you know that the school has to answer to bodies that have been developed to protect you.