List of Accredited Colleges and Accredited Schools
Attending an accredited college or university is vital to your future career and if you think you might want to pursue a higher degree after graduation. Whether you are enrolled in a certificate program or a program that will earn you an associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate degree, you must make sure that your school has been accredited by an approved accrediting agency. Accreditation means that your school has met certain qualifying standards in funding, faculty experience and training, curriculum, financial aid, organization and administration, and other factors. These top rated universities have been approved to grant degrees and design programs that are current, comprehensive and academically challenging. If you graduate from an accredited college or university, you can be confident that your degree is legitimate.
There are different types of accrediting agencies, and you can learn about them on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website. The best kind of accreditation to earn is regional accreditation. Regional accrediting bodies include the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of College and School, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Besides regional accreditation, many schools pursue additional accreditation for their programs, especially graduate or career training programs. To learn more about your choice school’s accreditation status, you can search its different accreditation approvals here.
Institutions that are not accredited will not grant you a degree that is worthwhile in the professional world. Even if you feel as though you have invested a substantial amount of effort, time and money into your academic program, it will be very difficult for you to find a job with a reputable employer and almost impossible to enroll in a higher education program that requires applicants to hold a degree or certificate. Some unaccredited institutions are actually diploma mills pretending to be real colleges and universities. These institutions provide no real academic or professional training and issue fake degrees for profit. Some warning signs of a diploma mill or degree mill include never hearing from professors, tuition that has to be paid on a per-degree basis, and a fake list of accrediting councils that have supposedly approved the institution but have not been recognized by CHEA or the U.S. Department of Education.
Avoid being scammed by diploma mills and unaccredited institutions by limiting your school search to the top rated colleges that have been accredited.