Sure, it sounds impressive to say that the college you attend is accredited. But how exactly can accredited colleges affect your degree? Read on to learn what accreditation means for you:
1. Quality of Education – Accreditation helps ensure that you receive a quality education that is up to national standards. American InterContinental University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (http://www.ncahlc.org/) and was recently awarded continuation of its accreditation through the year 2023. In order to earn this level of institutional accreditation, would-be accredited colleges must undergo a rigorous review process, submit program and operation documentation and comply with the standards of the accrediting organization.
2. Regular monitoring Once a school earns its accreditation, it doesn't just sit back and rest on its laurels. Educational standards are constantly changing, and accredited colleges must stay up to date in order to maintain their good standing. In order to do so, accredited colleges undergo periodic reviews by their accreditors to ensure that they comply with national standards as well as industry best practices. In order to maintain these standards over time, colleges continually work toward renewing their accreditations. This process can include regular reporting on student outcomes, site visits and curriculum reviews, just to name a few.
3. Federal Financial Aid – If you choose a non-accredited school, you may not be able to receive federal (or even state) tuition assistance. This includes government-funded student loans, grants or scholarships. Only students who attend accredited colleges or universities may qualify for federal student aid, military tuition assistance and the GI Bill. If Uncle Sam won't back a school or program, you should probably look into the reasons why a school is not accredited.
4. Degree Recognition – Earning your degree takes time, talent, dedication and money. So naturally, you want the degree you've worked so hard for to be recognized. A degree from an unaccredited college may not carry its weight if you when you decide to pursue an advanced degree at an accredited institution. This could prevent you from getting into your desired graduate school. Degrees earned at a non-accredited institutions may also not be accepted by a certain employers, rendering your hard-earned degree an expensive piece of paper.
5. State Licensure or Certification – Many professions, such as teaching or accounting, require state licensure or certification. If your desired profession requires state licensure or certification, be especially careful to choose an accredited institution, as your degree may not be recognized by your state's licensing body.
Financial aid is available to those who qualify.