When considering attending a college or other postsecondary educational institution, it is important to know if the time, money and effort expended will result in a quality education. The process of college accreditation is the best way to ensure that the education given by a particular institution is of a high quality.

Accreditation Standards

There are a number of accreditation standards and agencies. The most common is called "Regional Accreditation." There are also a number of state accreditation agencies.

Regional Accreditation

There are a number of regional accreditation agencies that are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Attending schools accredited by these agencies ensures a very high standard of educational quality.

State Accreditation

Some states offer accreditation for vocational and other postsecondary education institutions. Although state accreditation is good, it is not considered as good as regional accreditation.

Risks of Attending a Non-Accredited Institution

A number of non-accredited educational institutions offer courses and degrees. Although these schools may be fine, there is no independent verification of quality. Also, credits for classes completed at a non-accredited school may not be accepted if you transfer to an accredited school.

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About the Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.