Do you know how to search for an accredited school? Find out here!

Searching for an accredited school to attend is not as tough as it may seem.  In fact, college rankings like Forbes’ “America’s Best Colleges” list, The Princeton Review’s “College Rankings” and US News & World Reports’ “College Ranking and Lists” can help to take the guess work out of which colleges and universities offer the programs, undergraduate and graduate degrees and student activities you’re most interested in taking advantage of.

In addition to reviewing the above (and other) college ranking and review lists, websites and directories, while searching for an accredited school to attend, visit websites of colleges and universities you’re thinking about enrolling in.  Focus on accredited postsecondary schools that have respected academic schools in the field you want to major in.  After all, colleges and universities can have general degree programs (e.g. office management, accounting, medical records) that are respected by other postsecondary schools as well as by hiring managers, but these same schools might have weak degree programs in unique fields (e.g. chemical engineering, clinical psychology, employment law) you want to major in.

Also check to make sure that the school is accredited in the field you’re majoring.  For example, if you’re major is nursing, check to see if the college or university’s nursing programs are accredited by organizations like the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.  A full listing of college and university accrediting organizations is at the United States Department of Education. 

The size or student population at a postsecondary school does not excuse the school from accreditation review and approval (or decline).  By conducting your due diligence and checking to see that a school is accredited before you enroll and pay your tuition, you can ensure that quarter or semester credit hours you earn at the postsecondary school are honored at other colleges and universities should you decide to transfer your credits to earn advanced undergraduate and/or graduate degrees.

Finding the College or University That is Right for You

As you continue your search for an accredited school, also make sure that you:

  • Visit colleges and universities.  In fact, you can set aside a weekend to visit postsecondary schools you’re thinking about attending with your parents or older siblings who’ve already completed two or more years of college.
  • Meet with administrators from college or university bursar’s or admissions offices to learn about extracurricular programs offered at the schools.
  • Ask students currently enrolled at the postsecondary schools about their experiences with professors, registration, academic advisors, etc.
  • Read blogs written by students attending or recently graduated from the accredited colleges and universities to learn ways you can get the most out of attending the schools, including programs you can register for and participate in.

Furthermore, if you’re interested in taking online courses, check to make sure that the colleges and universities you’re thinking about enrolling at offer accredited distance learning programs.  Also check the numbers of in-state and out-of-state students enrolled at the schools, the costs of tuition, degrees professors at the schools have and business programs like internships and work/study programs the schools participate in.  If you check the schools’ alumni pages at their websites you can also learn about former students who became leaders in their industries after they graduated from the accredited schools.

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