Learn how to evaluate colleges based on accreditation, and why it's important.
In the decision of choosing which college is right for you, the options abound. Many students find themselves choosing between community college, a technical college, or a four-year institution. Although all these institutions can provide a solid education, be aware that not all colleges are created equal. In fact, accreditation is one of the main elements that differentiate between colleges’ level of scholarly quality.
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is an important distinction in the realm of colleges and universities. According to the US Department of Education, the purpose of accreditation is to certify that the education given by institutions meet national standards of quality. Therefore, if a college you are considering has national accreditation, then this demonstrates that the institution has met the standards of quality set forth by the US Department of Education.
Fundamentally, accreditation ensures that you are obtaining a quality education – and for your future employers and graduate programs to recognize your education. If the college does not have accreditation, you may want to think twice about enrolling.
Why accreditation is important
When you are choosing a college, accreditation is important for many factors – including the financial aid you can obtain and even the job you will get upon graduating. Subsequently, accreditation is an element of your college decision that cannot be taken lightly. If the institution you attend is not accredited, then you are subject to several disadvantages:
- Lack of government financial aid: Contingent upon schools participating in federal Title IV or state financial aid funding is their accreditation. If the institution does not receive accreditation . . . read more