A school accredited by the right agencies can grant degrees that lead to increased income and higher positions. A degree that is given by a “fake” school, however, can turn out to be a huge waste of time and energy. Before you register for classes with any school online, make sure you know the facts about accreditation. Reviewing a school’s programs and policies to see if it meets criteria set by an outside agency – this is what the process of accreditation looks like. It is granted accreditation in all the cases when a school is found to meet the minimum criteria. Accreditation is meant to protect students, schools, and employers and it ensures that a school is educating its students and meeting quality standards. A student can be assured that it will be accepted by employers when he receives a diploma from a school accredited by the right agency. Likewise, she can be assured that a graduate from an accredited school has received the training necessary and didn’t pay for a degree from diploma mill school when an employer is looking to hire. There are many other things, however, you should know about online school accreditation basics.

Online school accreditation basics

Not all accreditation is equal. Accreditation from the wrong source (such as an accreditation mill) can be worse than no accreditation at all. You have to check strictly if your online school is accredited by an agency recognized by either the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). These organizations maintain lists of accreditors that are legitimate. Select a school that is accredited by one of the six regional accredited agencies ecognized by both the USDE and CHEA. These are the same agencies that accredit reputable brick-and-mortar schools in case you want your degree online to be widely accepted. A big number of the schools online are accredited by the Distance Education Training Council simply known as DETC. DETC accreditation, however, is not as widely accepted as regional accreditation. Many regionally accredited schools do not accept transfer credits from DETC accredited schools. A school that sells degrees and requires little to no work of its students is a diploma mill. These colleges are either unaccredited or are accredited by accreditation mills. A diploma mill can land you in hot water, using a degree from it. Many employees have been fired after listing a diploma mill degree in their resumes. Some states even have laws restricting the use of degrees from such kind of diplomas. Note that not all unaccredited schools are diploma mills – some of the unaccredited schools, for example, are undergoing the accreditation process or choose not to seek accreditation. Using a degree from one of these schools may be difficult but that does not automatically qualify a school as a diploma mill. It may be difficult to use your degree in case you choose a school that isn’t accredited (or is accredited by an illegitimate agency).