Why Is Enrolling in an Accredited Online College Degree Program Important?

Not all online college degree programs are accredited. Read on to learn why accreditation is important for potential employment and future academic pursuits. Find out how to verify a school's accreditation.

Benefits of Accreditation

The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognize several national and regional accrediting agencies, such as the Distance Education Accrediting Commission and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, that provide quality assurance with regard to educational standards. Attending an online college or university that's been accredited can make it easier to land a job and to further your education.

Potential Employment

For most jobs, applicants have to provide documentation of their college career, including the name of the school they attended and the degree or certificate they received. Employers tend to be more likely to hire applicants who hold degrees from colleges that have been properly accredited since accreditation signifies that a school maintains a certain level of academic rigor.

Further Study

If a student plans to pursue further study at another school - whether in a transfer or advanced degree program - it's important to enroll in an accredited online program. Many properly accredited universities do not accept transfer credits from unaccredited schools, and when they do, restrictions generally apply. For example, courses transfered from a non-accredited school usually cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements. In some cases, applicants from unaccredited schools might find it more difficult to even be accepted by an accredited college or university.

Verifying Accreditation

Some online schools claim to be accredited, but not all accrediting agencies are reputable. To ensure the legitimacy of an agency, check to see if it's recognized by the USDE or CHEA by visiting their websites.

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