What Options do Graduates from an Unaccredited College or University Have?

If you are interested in learning about your unaccredited degree options, you have come to the right place. With so many different unaccredited colleges advertising their quality programs to adult re-entry students, it is not uncommon for prospective students with little knowledge about college programs to fall victim and enroll in a program that is unaccredited. You will quickly realize, if you want to transfer or apply for a professional license, that your unaccredited college degree is not worth much to professional associations and many employers. 

A formal accreditation that is granted by an accreditation body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education shows that the school meets important higher education standards. Failing to complete this voluntary process diminishes a school’s reputation, and makes the degrees that the school offers worthless in many cases. While it can be difficult to put a degree from an unaccredited school to use, you may have options. Here is some information that you should know:

What Are Some of the Drawbacks of Having an Unaccredited Degree?

One major drawback of earning a degree from a school that lacks a formal accreditation deals with financial aide. When you attend a college that is not accredited by an agency that is formally recognized by the government, you cannot receive Federal financial aide grants and loans. This often means you must take the school’s high interest loans or pay for school out-of-pocket while attending. If you do not mind paying for school out-of-pocket, this may not affect you.

A majority of the drawbacks are long-term. In most industries, employers are looking to hire an individual with a specialized degree earn by attending an accredited program. If you must have educational experience to be licensed in a profession or vocation, the city or state agency will not accept your degree unless the institution or program is formally accredited. You also do not have the option to transfer the credits that you earned to another accredited school because unaccredited credits are not transferable. 

What Can You Do With Your Unaccredited Degree?

After reading the limitations you can face with an unaccredited degree, you may be wondering what you can do with the piece of paper you spent years earning. While your options are very limited, you still have options. First, not all states require that you disclose that your degree is unaccredited. Check in your state to see if this is a requirement before you write your resume. If it is not a requirement, put your degree in the education category of your resume with the school name. Only let the employer know the school is unaccredited if asked. 

If you are required to disclose this information, it is in your best interest to look for positions that do not require a college degree. By doing this, you can submit an application that shows you are committed to completing what you start. A degree that is not required will not work against you, but it can when there is a strict degree requirement. It is very important to be upfront and never falsify your resume. 

When you enroll in school, you are excited for the future. Unfortunately, failing to do your research can affect that future. Be sure you attend an accredited school if you are about to enroll. If you mistakenly choose a school without accreditation, know your unaccredited degree options.