What is the Difference Between Regional and National Accreditation?

Are you looking for higher educational institutions that are accredited? Just because you understand the importance of choosing a school that have passed the voluntary process of accreditation does not mean that you understand the difference between different types of accreditation that exist. Typically, prospective students who have not done any research are not familiar with the difference between a national and a regional accreditation agencies. If you would like to know the similarities and differences between each type of accreditation, read on and learn what you need to know.

The Similarities Between a Regional and National Accreditation

One of the greatest aspects that regional or national accreditation can provide is reassurance. In the past, many students have been skeptical of attending degree programs because they were later deemed worthless, but when you take the time to enroll in a degree program with a regionally or nationally accredited institution you know that your degree will be legitimate. Each type of accreditation, while they are granted to different types of schools, are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This recognition means that Federal Financial Aid, also commonly referred to as FASFA, will be offered by the institution, which is extremely important to a majority of students today.

What Are the Significant Differences Between Regional and National Accreditation?

There are six different regional accreditation agencies in the United States, and traditional brick-and-mortar public and private colleges and universities can apply for this type of accreditation through the agency serving their area. While both types of accreditation are recognized by the US Department of Education, employers are much more accepting of degrees and transcripts that come from regionally accredited schools. There are both online and traditional schools that have earned regional accreditation, and each of these are equally recognized.

A national accreditation, while it is growing to be equally acceptable to some employers, is designed for schools that do not qualify for a regional designation. Most of the time, national accreditation is granted to special vocational or technical schools with a specific set of programs. There are a variety of different bodies, and it is important to understand which national body oversees the types of programs that you are interested in.

Does It Matter Which Type of Program You Complete?

You may be wondering if selecting a regionally or nationally accredited program can affect your future in the employment market, and it some cases it can. You need to really assess your future goals, and determine if employers or licensing bureaus will scrutinize the degree program that you take. If you plan on advancing your degree, it is a good idea to take a regionally accredited program so that there are not future issues. Credits will always transfer and employers will always perceive the degree highly.

If you would like to search for regional accreditation, you can easily use theĀ directory through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. By doing this, you can select the best program and also learn the status of the school before enrolling. This keeps you aware of any possible issues that could arise with accreditation while you are attending the school.