Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Is My School Properly Accredited? Full List of Accredited Colleges

You may have focused so much of your senior year in high school on preparing for college that you forgot one important consideration: are my potential colleges even accredited?

To make sure that your diploma counts after graduation, it’s important to check if the schools on your list have earned the nod of accrediting agencies. Otherwise, you could be flushing tens of thousands of dollars down the drain!

To help you with this, here’s a full list of all the accredited universities in the country — plus everything you need to know about college accreditation.

What Does It Mean for a College to Be Accredited?

It may not be too obvious but accreditation is a big deal for colleges, especially the highly competitive ones. It’s an indication that they are giving students what they promise: a great education in their subject area.

Essentially, accreditation is a process that schools voluntarily undertake to see if they meet an established set of standards. Reputable accreditation agencies periodically evaluate the school’s subject offering to confirm that it is providing students with quality education.

Being accredited isn’t just good for the students, but also for the college because they can attract more and better students. That’s because students are more likely to attend accredited schools since they know that the diploma they hang on their wall after graduation will be recognized when they try to get a job.

Another advantage of having “accredited” status is that colleges can know their strengths, and can work on improving programs and services that are weaker. 

Why College Accreditation Matters

Accreditation may seem insignificant to you as a student, but it shouldn’t be. Here’s why:

Firstly, if you want to take advantage of federal financial aid (and you probably do), you must attend an accredited college because the Department of Education only offers this kind of aid to students of colleges that meet these recognized standards.

Secondly, when you search for a job after graduation, your employers will not only look at which school you attended but also whether it’s accredited by a reliable agency. The last thing you want is to miss out on a job because your degree is from a college with questionable accreditation status.

Finally, enrolling at an accredited school will also play an important role if you plan to transfer to another college. If you try to transfer from an unaccredited college to an accredited college, there’s a good chance your credits will not be accepted, wasting your hard work and money.

College Students
Whether your college is accredited or not can have a lot of impacts, including on your ability to qualify for federal financial aid. Photo: Zen Chung/Pexels

Types of College Accreditation

Curious about what type of accreditation your prospective colleges have? (Hold up, there are different types?!) 🤔

Well, every academic institution can choose what kind of accreditation it wants to undertake to prove that it’s meeting a high level of academic standards. 

As a student and a future graduate, it’s important that you know what type of accrediting body the colleges on your list chose because each type is different.

Regional vs. National Accreditation

There are some crucial differences between the two most common types of college accreditation. And while you may think that national accreditation is better — that’s where you’re wrong!

Regional accreditation bodies are for associate, bachelor, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

Meanwhile, national accrediting agencies are only for career or religious education (for example, to become a dental assistant or a pastor).

Academic credits earned from a regionally accredited institution are more widely accepted than those earned from a nationally accredited school. This is because regional accreditation is older and more prestigious than national.

Institutional vs. Programmatic Accreditation

If a college’s program offerings and organizational structure are more important to you than the quality of its student services, you might also need to check if your potential schools have met specific standards of institutional or programmatic accrediting bodies.

Institutional accreditation focuses on staff qualifications, research activities, and student intake and learning resources.

On the other hand, programmatic accreditation involves the assessment of specific departments to determine if their programs effectively prepare graduates for future careers.

Comprehensive List of Fully Accredited Four-Year Colleges

Alabama (AL)

Alaska (AK)

Arizona (AZ)

Arkansas (AR)

California (CA)

Colorado (CO)

Connecticut (CT)

Delaware (DE)

District of Columbia (DC)

Florida (FL)

Georgia (GA)

Hawaii (HI)

Idaho (ID)

Illinois (IL)

Indiana (IN)

Iowa (IA)

Kansas (KS)

Kentucky (KY)

Louisiana (LA)

Maine (ME)

Maryland (MD)

Massachusetts (MA)

Michigan (MI)

Minnesota (MN)

Mississippi (MS)

Missouri (MO)

Montana (MT)

Nebraska (NE)

Nevada (NV)

New Hampshire (NH)

New Jersey (NJ)

New Mexico (NM)

New York (NY)

North Carolina (NC)

North Dakota (ND)

Ohio (OH)

Oklahoma (OK)

Oregon (OR)

Pennsylvania (PA)

Rhode Island (RI)

South Carolina (SC)

South Dakota (SD)

Tennessee (TN)

Texas (TX)

Utah (UT)

Vermont (VT)

Virginia (VA)

Washington (WA)

West Virginia (WV)

Wisconsin (WI)

Wyoming (WY)

How to Find Out if a College Is Accredited

The easiest way to check if your prospective colleges are accredited is through their websites. This information is usually found in the “About” section. You can also check pages of other departments for accreditation details on specific programs.

Another way of checking accreditation status is through the Department of Education’s accreditation database

If you still can’t verify whether the schools on your list are accredited, you can visit the official websites of various accrediting agencies or send an email to your potential college.

That’s it! That’s all you need to know about accredited colleges in the US. Go on and make the most of your college experience while also ensuring that your credentials will be valid in the future. Good luck! 🎓

Frequently Asked Questions About College Accreditation

Can I transfer credits from a nationally accredited college to a regionally accredited one?

Is the University of Phoenix accredited?

Which colleges are not accredited?

Are there any accredited online colleges?

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