What Is College And University Accreditation?

If you are currently in college or are looking for a college to attend, there is a good chance that you are going to attend an accredited school. Accreditation is important for a school because it shows that the school can deliver a quality education with credits that can transfer to a variety of other colleges or universities.

What Is Accreditation?

A school that is accredited has met certain standards related to the quality of its campus, the quality of its classes and the ability of earned credits to be transferred to another school. Colleges and universities become accredited by asking for an evaluation from an accreditation agency.

What Is The Process To Become Accredited?

Schools that want to become accredited go through a multi-step process to earn the label of an accredited college or university. First, the school will do an in-depth study on its own to determine if it would meet the standards needed to become accredited. Once a school determines that it does meet those standards, an accreditation agency will take a tour of the campus. Finally, the accreditation agency will either accept the request from the school to become accredited or will give reasons as to why the school is not eligible for the label.

What Do Accreditation Agencies Look For?

There are a few specific factors that these agencies take into consideration when evaluating a school for accreditation. The biggest factor is whether or not classes are offered that are rigorous and add value to the life of the student.

For example, a school that offers classes where students do little more than play video games or watch movies is unlikely to earn accreditation. Professors at an accredited school should have a teaching degree or some sort of professional background in the field that they are teaching.

Another factor in whether or not a school is accredited depends on their facilities. Schools that lack computer labs, student activities or student housing may have a hard time gaining that status. An exception can be made for online schools where students don’t expect or need housing or other facilities.

Why Is Accreditation Important?

Accreditation is important because a school that is not accredited cannot offer students financial aid available from the government. In other words, students will have to pay their own way or try to obtain private financing from the school. Additionally, credits earned at the school will most likely not transfer.

Thousands of colleges and universities have earned accredited status across America. However, not all schools have this label. If you are currently going to school or looking for a school to attend, you should make sure that the school is accredited if you need financial aid or want your credits to transfer. This is beneficial because few people have the hundreds of dollars per credit hour that an average college may demand upfront.