Individuals who plan to go to college naturally want to make certain that the degree they earn will be a valuable asset for their future. So it’s very smart to do the necessary research about the college you choose to make sure that the school you attend is accredited by an official accrediting body.
Making sure of the type of accreditation is especially true if you are selecting an online college. This is true for several different reasons. Many students begin their education at one college or university and for a variety of reasons find the need to switch colleges along the way. So you want to be sure that the credits you earn at one college will transfer should you decide to make a change.
Additionally, if you are going to spend the time and money to earn a college degree, you want to know that once you’ve graduated, your degree will be recognized and respected by future employers and others.
Types of Accreditation
With online colleges, there are basically two types of accreditation: regional and national. And though it may seem counter intuitive, the most widely recognized is regional rather than national accreditation. According to the U. S. Department of Education, more than 85% of all colleges in the US are regionally accredited. National accreditation often focuses more on career-oriented schools.
Here are some interesting facts that are worth exploring if you are intending to enroll in an online college or university:
The most prestigious college accreditation standard is the regional accreditation, and it is the most widely recognized type as well. You will find that credits and degrees from regionally accredited schools will more easily transfer to other schools.
Not only do you want your credits to be able to transfer to other schools, you also want to make sure that should you choose to earn a higher level degree (i.e. Master’s or PhD) in the future from a different college, your degree will be recognized so you can continue your education at a higher level.
Another important element to consider is financial aid and the ability to have your employer reimburse you for your college education costs should that be an option for you with your workplace. Generally, you will also find that regionally accredited schools will offer instructor-led classes. This is important for you to get the most from your education.
While you may find that regionally accredited colleges are often more expensive than nationally accredited schools, your money will be well spent. Other differences you may see between the two include more liberal arts courses required, and more competitive admission requirements.
You can also go to the U.S. Department of Education website to find more information about college accreditation. Unfortunately, some schools claim to be accredited but the accreditation bodies they claim to be accredited by are not recognized by an official accrediting body.
Talk to your enrollment representative at the college or university you are considering attending about the type of accreditation the school holds. Do additional research on your own, and ask any questions about accreditation you may be concerned about.
Find a wide range of accredited online colleges and universities offering degrees in today’s most sought-after fields of study such as business, psychology and more.