What are the Red Flags that a School is Not Properly Accredited?

When deciding which college you want to attend, it’s important to know what the red flags for improper accreditation are. If you end up going to a school that isn’t properly accredited, you might get a degree, but that doesn’t mean that it’ll be worth anything. To make sure that you don’t choose a bad school, keep a look out for some of these red flags.

It’s Too Good to Be True

The old saying holds true – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is one of the biggest red flags for improper accreditation. There are several ways to see if a school has accreditation. Schools that aren’t accredited often promise that you can get your degree faster than you can at any other college. They might promise that they can give you credit for life experience so that you don’t have to take many actual courses. Giving you an option to pay as you go is another thing to look out for. Even though paying a little at a time sounds nice, most colleges require you to pay them up front. Basically, don’t trust a school if it costs a fraction of what other colleges are charging and sounds like a much better option than all the other schools you’ve looked at.

No Financial Assistance

In order to get financial aid from the government, your school has to be accredited by an agency that’s recognized for Title IV purposes. To find out which accrediting agencies are associated with Title IV, you can visit ed.gov. Because schools want to have enrollment numbers as high as possible, they usually accept financial aid from federal and state sources if they are able to. Usually, the only reason that schools don’t allow students to use federal financial aid is if the government does not recognize them as accredited institution. Since schools usually know that not accepting financial aid is one of the red flags for improper accreditation, they might not tell you about financial aid specifics until as late as possible. If you can’t find anything about financial aid on a college’s website, something might be wrong, but you can always talk to an admissions representative before you write off the school entirely. Keep in mind, though, that many improperly accredited agencies make it hard to talk to admissions representatives.

No Alumni

See if you can find graduates of a school. If you can, see what they’re doing with their lives to see how successful graduates usually are. Not being able to find alumni is one of the many red flags for improper accreditation. It can mean that they aren’t many graduates, which means that most students end up dropping out before they complete their program, or it can mean that most graduates haven’t been able to find any meaningful employment. Either way, not being able to find alumni is almost always a bad sign.

Finding a good school is very important. It can make the difference between having a successful career and being unemployed. There are many red flags for improper accreditation so that you can make an informed decision and find a properly accredited school.