Why Should I Choose an Accredited College or University?

With so many available traditional or online degree programs offered by colleges and universities nationwide, finding the right school can be an overwhelming and daunting task for incoming freshmen or transfer students. When searching through the thousands of higher learning institutions in the United States, one of the most important factors that students need to be on the lookout for when choosing a degree program is accreditation. Accreditation is an evaluation process for colleges and universities that determines whether their programs meet all of the education standards that are in place by national or regional accrediting agencies. Therefore, accreditation ensures that students will be receiving the highest quality education from a reputable higher learning institution. The following are the top three reasons why it is the wisest choice to attend at accredited college or university to obtain a degree.

1. Transferring Credits to Further Education

When it comes to allowing students the ability to transfer credits in from other institutions, colleges and universities are notorious for being picky. If students are hoping to accelerate their pathway towards a degree or further their education with an advanced graduate degree, it is imperative that they choose to attend a fully accredited college or university. Schools are much more likely to accept past credits from other institutions that have been accredited by one of the regional agencies. Since colleges and universities that have received these accreditations are known to be among the more academic non-profit institutions, students most likely will have no problem transferring credits for good course grades.

2. Receiving Federal Financial Aid

With the steadily rising costs of college tuition rates, more students than ever before are depending on the assistance of the federal government to provide loans, grants, and scholarships to cover the financial burden. Simply put, students who attend schools that are not accredited by recognized accrediting agencies often are unable to receive financial aid. The U.S. Department of Education mandates that all colleges and universities participating in the Federal Student Aid program be properly accredited. Therefore, students will need financial assistance to cover the hefty price tag of their college education must choose an accredited college or university.

3. Boosting Marketability to Future Potential Employers

Since the major goal of achieving a college education is to land a successful career in a chosen field after graduation, earning a degree from an accredited college or university will tremendously increase marketability. If a job candidate has received a degree or certificate from an unaccredited school, employers often will skip right over their resume in their large stack. Instead, accredited college degrees certify to employers that the applicant has all of the fundamental knowledge and skills for success in their business. Therefore, the best way to dazzle and stand out from the crowd in the current competitive job market is to achieve a degree from an accredited institution.

In order to determine whether a college or university is accredited, it is highly recommended that all prospective students conduct some background investigation. While most schools advertise their accreditations on their website, please be advised that it is always an excellent choice to double check these claims for validity within the U.S.Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. Using this database as a valuable resource, students can find an accredited college or university and guarantee that all of their hard work will count for the ultimate academic success.