College accreditation is a formal recognition, or guarantee, that an entire school or college-or just one of its programs meets certain standards and provides quality education equivalent to the nation's top accredited online colleges and universities. If you are considering studying abroad, outside Nigeria or through an online distance learning, you will have to take note of whether the University or College of your choice is accredited.
Why is College accreditation Important?
College accreditation gives the assurance that, as a distance learner
or regular international student, you will be able to attain the same
educational outcomes as you would in a traditional classroom-based
College accreditation entitles you to the same rights to admissions,
orientation, registration, counseling, tutoring, placement, financial
aid, and other student services that are available to all other
college students, regardless of the delivery method of your classes-
online or offline.
Without accreditation by a nationally recognized accrediting
organization, a school is not eligible to participate in government
student assistance programs. This means that, as a student, you would
not be eligible for federal grant or loan money.
Most employers and organizations who offer tuition assistance will not
reimburse your tuition if you attend a school that is not accredited.
If you intend to transfer credits from one school to another, you will
only be able to do so if you attended an accredited college or
You also should note that not all college/university accreditation
associations are legitimate. Some colleges and diploma mills create
their own accrediting authority and then grant themselves
"accreditation!". Hence you should be extremely careful and be
watchful for such institutions so that you do not waste your time and
How then Will one Know if a College is Accredited by a Legitimate Authority?
For schools in US, There are two large organizations that recognize
accrediting agencies, giving them validation:
U.S Department of Education
Council for higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
In Canada, college accreditation is provided by the Association of
Universities and Colleges of Canada. See http://www/cmec.ca/for more
information on Canadian accreditation.
There are six regional accrediting agencies that are recognized by the
U.S. Department of Education and CHEA. These agencies accredit entire
institutions. All are equally authoritative and recognize each other.
This means credits or degrees earned from a school accredited by one
agency will be recognized by a school accredited by another agency.
The following accrediting agencies are recognized as legitimate
accrediting bodies by the US Department of Education and CHEA. Each
list has a searcheable database of the schools that it accredits on
Middle States Commission on Higher Education – This organization
accredits schools in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Visit http://www.msache.org for more information.
New England Association of Schools and Colleges – This organization
accredits schools in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
Rhode Island, Vermont and American/international schools in more than
65 nations worldwide. Visit http://www.neasc.org for more information.
North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School
Improvement (NCA CASI) -This organization accredits schools in
Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota,
Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington. Visit http://www.ncacasi.org for
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) – This
organization accredits schools and colleges in Alaska, Idaho, Montana,
Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Visit http://www.nwccu.org/for
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools- This organization
accredits schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and
Virginia. Visit http://www.sacscoc.org for more information.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges – This organization
accredits schools in California, Hawaii, and Guam. Visit
http://www.wascweb.orgfor more information.
There are some other college accreditation organizations such as the
Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is very popular
with distance learning programs.
For a full list of the accrediting agencies that the U.S Department of
Education and CHEA recognize, visit
if you are considering taking courses-either online or offline-and
you're not sure whether the school you are considering is legitimately
accredited, or whether it is a diploma mill or degree mill, it will be
wise that you look it up first. After all, it is your education, time,
and money, and no one is authorized to take advantage of you. If you
are in doubt, look it up!
If you know other accreditation agencies for universities and colleges
in Uk, Netherland, Belgium, Sweden etc, please share with us on
comment below. Someone needs to know.