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What if the most expensive purchase in your life turned out to be completely useless?
This is what happens when you choose to go to an unaccredited college or university. However, many people are still asking the simple question: “what does accredited mean?”
Before you pay a penny for tuition, keep reading to discover our guide to what accreditation means and why it’s so important.
What Does Accredited Mean?
If a college is accredited, that means that a group of experts has reviewed the college and certified the quality of their education and their institution.
There are different accrediting bodies throughout the United States. For example, many southern schools are evaluated by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
If a school is not accredited, then it was either not reviewed by a relevant accrediting body or it failed a review and lost accreditation.
Why Is It Bad to Go to an Unaccredited School?
There are many fine accredited schools out there such as KSU MME. But you may be wondering: what’s so bad about going to a school that is not accredited?
First of all, degrees from unaccredited schools are valued less than those from accredited ones. That means that after years of hard work, you may not be able to get the dream job you’ve been wanting.
Second, you may not be able to transfer credits from an unaccredited college to another college. However, most colleges and universities with regional accreditation make it easier to transfer, even when you’re moving from one side of the country to another.
Finally, most unaccredited colleges and universities cannot participate in federal financial aid programs. This means you end up missing out on grants and loans that have competitively low-interest rates.
How Can I Check If a School Is Accredited Or Not?
Most accredited schools will publish information about their accreditation status. Keep in mind that whether or not a school’s accreditation has been renewed is meant to be public knowledge.
It’s also possible to independently verify a school’s accreditation status. There are a number of third party websites that maintain accurate lists about which schools are accredited and which are not.
Finally, you can simply be on the lookout for red flags when reviewing a school. If they offer no federal financial aid and/or offer many credits for little work, these are big warning signs.
Keep in mind that there are also “fake” accrediting agencies. Some unaccredited schools will claim to be accredited by a third party, but if they do not have region accreditation, their claim is meaningless.
Many unaccredited schools lure students who are short on time. That means these students do not have a lot of time to research the school’s reputation and accreditation status.
Whenever possible, it’s good to apply early. This gives you more time to research schools, increases your chance of admission, and gives you priority consideration for scholarships and financial aid.
The Bottom Line
Now you have an answer to “what does accredited mean.” But do you know where to find more answers?
At In News Weekly, we help you stay on top of school matters. Check out our growing education section to learn more!