Is It Really Necessary to Attend an Accredited School?

If you are pursuing a college degree through distance education then accreditation is a must. (This means that the school must be accredited by one of the six regional agencies, or at the very least ABHE, ATS, DETC, or TRACS.) Many graduate programs and employers require an accredited degree as a prerequisite and simply discount unaccredited programs. I have received e-mail from people who spent much time and money working on an unaccredited degree, only to have it rejected by their school or employer. The state of Oregon has actually published a list of particular unaccredited schools whose degrees cannot legally be used in the state. Visit the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization for more information. If you are using distance education courses to supplement your homeschooling curriculum, then accreditation is not as essential since colleges recognize the unique nature of homeschooling. But since regional accreditation is the accepted standard of academic quality, I would strongly advise people to avoid unaccredited programs except in very unique situations.

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