Frequently Asked Questions
Source: Back to College (http://www.back2college.com/library/accreditfaq.htm)
What Is College Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary, independent review of educational programs to determine that the
education provided is of uniform and sound quality. Being awarded accreditation ensures that an
institution has been evaluated and that it met set standards of quality determined by the accrediting
organization granting the accreditation. A college or university's accreditation is maintained by
continued adherence to the set criteria.
Why is College Accreditation Important? What Type of Accreditation Should I Look For?
There are several reasons accreditation is important besides ensurance of quality and adherence to
academic standards. Accreditation determines a school's eligibility for participation in federal (Title IV)
and state financial aid programs. Proper accreditation is also important for the acceptance and transfer
of college credit, and is a prerequisite for many graduate programs.
The most recognized and accepted type of accreditation in the United States is regional accreditation.
Generally, college credits or degrees received at a regionally accredited institution are accepted by other
regionally accredited colleges or universities (non‐regionally accredited programs are not as accepted).
However, this acceptance is not guaranteed; it remains with each institution to establish its own policies
based on the determination that the credits accepted meet educational objectives comparable to their
What Are the Regional Accreditation Agencies?
There are six geographic regions of the United States with an agency that accredits college and
university higher education programs:
The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Accreditation of colleges in the middle states region (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland,
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico).
The New England Association of Schools &