Many people are choosing accredited online colleges when they are looking to attend graduate school. However, there are a number of students who are still seeking accredited online colleges to complete graduate studies. There are a number of factors that go into the process of accreditation. In this article, I will discuss the importance of accredited online colleges in terms of graduation rates and salary potential.
Accredited online colleges are accredited by either national or regional agencies. Most nationally accredited online colleges meet very similar academic standards and for-profit schools usually meet lower academic requirements than their regional peers. In order to be considered an accredited online college, a school must have met minimum requirements agreed upon by stakeholders such as the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education. For example, all accredited online colleges must show that they take “all steps necessary to ensure the quality of education as well as the fulfillment of its educational and monetary objectives,” according to one national accrediting organization. Each individual agency then varies its own set of educational and admission policies and criteria, so it is important to be aware of the rules of multiple accrediting agencies before enrolling at a college. In this regard, some colleges will accept students with any educational background, while others will require specific courses, credits, or even GEDs.
In addition, accredited colleges are categorized into two general categories: private and public colleges. Private colleges typically offer more specific and specialized degree programs. They are not governed by the same laws as public colleges, so it is important to make sure that the college you select is licensed and accredited by the proper agency. Private universities are generally only for the purposes of tuition, although they may offer financial aid programs in cases where full-time attendance is necessary for graduation.
A not-for-profit institution, also commonly called a Research University, is governed by the state board of education. They are not governed by federal laws and their own code of conduct does not have to conform to that of other schools. A research university must receive accreditation from an accrediting agency of the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). However, there are many states that have “private” colleges with separate codes of conduct, so you must check the rules for your particular state for enrollment requirements and to determine which schools may be accredited.
There are two different types of not-for-profit institutions to consider. One is a traditional bricks-and-mortar school that is located within a state, but offers the degree program from a distance through an accredited online college. The second is a research university that is not-for-profit but is located within a state. Many states, such as West Virginia, have unique rules governing the acceptance of distance credits, so it’s a good idea to check your state’s policy before enrolling.
A few of the most well-known universities in the United States are accredited by the U.S. Department of Columbia. The College of Saint Benilde, located in Germany, is accredited by the German Ministry of Education. The Catholic University of America is accredited by The Catholic University. The University of Cambridge is owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is accredited by the U.K.’s Department of Education.
The University of California – Davis is not-for-profit, but is considered a public university. The Medical Institute of Minnesota is not-for-profit but is a research university. The college at the University of Miami – School of Medicine is a non-profit research university. The business school at the University of Southern California – Los Angeles is a research university.
There are several more smaller accredited universities that are not-for-profit institutions. They include the University of California – San Diego, the University of Florida – Gainseville, the University of Missouri – Columbia, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and the college at the University of Virginia – Arlington. The University of Alabama – Birmingham is an accredited university. Other Roman Catholic colleges that offer accredited online degree programs include the University of Miami, the Catholic University of America, and the University of Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands.