Read this article to better understand what accreditation is, how to find it, and the top online accredited schools out there.
When looking at online schools it is important to make sure that the school is accredited. To understand what accreditation is, how to find it, and top online accredited schools, keep reading.
What is Accreditation?
Schools go through the accreditation process to help build their reputation among other colleges and potential employers as well as a way to be held to a set of standards.
Accreditation is important because it is a way to show employers that you went to a reputable school and are versed in the most up to date information of a particular field. Credits from a regionally accredited school are also transferable to another school, but usually are more expensive.
Within the United States there are 6 regional accrediting agencies that evaluate each school based on its mission, objectives, admission requirements, student services, education quality and faculty reputation, and they use a peer review board for applications and renewals. The 6 agencies are: North Central Association, New England Association, Middle States Association, Western Association, Northwest Commission, and Southern Association.
Along with regional accreditation, there is also national accreditation, which is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Most nationally accredited schools are vocational and trade schools and are less expensive than regionally accredited schools. Credits are harder to transfer to regionally accredited schools due to less stringent standards. The national accrediting agencies include: Distance Education & Training Council (DETC), Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), Council on Occupational Education (COE), and Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission (TRACS).
How Do You Determine Whether a School is Accredited?
When exploring options for university, there are ways to check to see if the school is accredited. First try checking the school’s website. Most colleges will list their accreditation somewhere on their website.
Once you find the accreditation on the website, you can then proceed to check if their accrediting agency is recognized by Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation by going to their website. If you are unable to find information about a university’s accreditation, going straight to the Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation should be your first stop.
After determining if your school is accredited, determine if your specific program needs accreditation, typically those that require a license, and figure out if your school has it.
Why Get an Online Degree?
The reasons for getting an online degree are endless, but there are some that make it more appealing than others.
1. Flexible Schedule
With online courses, you have the freedom to determine when to study since you do not have to be in class at a certain time. Having a flexible schedule also means that you can continue to work and take care of your family while studying for your degree.
Most online schools are less expensive compared to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Tuition is lower because students don’t have a campus and campus resources, such as technology and classrooms, to use. But if tuition is still an issue, most schools offer some sort of financial aid.
Online courses can be accessed from any internet connected device giving anyone with an internet connected device, in any geographic region, the chance to learn and earn a degree.
4. Increased Concentration
Since there are no other students to serve as a distraction, you are able to create the most conducive environment for studying.
Top Accredited Online Schools
There are so many great online schools with accreditation out there. Below is a list of some of the best ones there are.
1. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has their lectures recorded for students to look at on their own time. There are over 15,000 students enrolled in the private school. Admissions are rolling allowing students to apply without deadlines. The tuition cost is $390 per credit. Its most popular majors are Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science and Technology, Business Administration and Management, and Aircraft Powerplant Technology/Technician.
Their degrees can be earned entirely outside the USA. In the US News Rankings, they are ranked #1 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. This university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
2. Arizona State University
Arizona State University also records their lectures for students to review later. They are a public university with rolling admission, so applicants do not need to worry about deadlines. There are over 36,000 students enrolled. Their cost per credit for tuition is $520 a credit. Arizona State University’s most popular majors are Psychology, Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies, Organizational Leadership, Speech Communication and Rhetoric, and Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration.
It is possible to earn your degree in its entirety outside the USA. In the US News Rankings, they are #2 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, #6 for Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA) and Best Online MBA Programs, and #13 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs. Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Committee (HLC) of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges
3. Ohio State University-Columbus
At Ohio State University-Columbus, all lectures are recorded, so students can go back and access them when it is convenient for them. Admission here is rolling, meaning students can apply whenever they want without deadline. Transfer students are accepted. It is possible to earn your degree in its entirety outside of the USA. Ohio State University-Columbus breaks down tuition by credits and based on in state or out of state.
In-state tuition by credit is $382 and out-of-state tuition by credit is $387. In the US News Rankings, it is #2 for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs, #3 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, #25 for Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs and #38 for Best Online Graduate Education Programs. The number of students enrolled are 360 and it is a public school. This university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
4. University of the People
University of the People is a 100% online, accredited university. The school is tuition-free — the only fees are for the application and exams, and for those unable to afford these, there are many scholarships available. University of the People offers degrees in Business Administration, Computer Science, Health Science and Education. Courses have been carefully crafted by some of the best academics from the best universities around the world, such as UC Berkley.
Admission is rolling and transfer students are accepted. University of the People is US accredited by Distance Education Accrediting Commission which is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
5. Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Utrecht University in the Netherlands is placed among the top 100 schools worldwide as well as in the top 15 within Europe. At Utrecht University, students can expect to reflect critically and debate all while enjoying a bit of flexibility. Master’s students are expected to complete research.
This university is accredited by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO). Students can complete degrees in medicine and health, natural sciences and mathematics, social sciences, computer science and IT, humanities, education and training, and engineering and technology.
6. Nottingham Trent University Online, the UK
Nottingham Trent University Online has over 5,000 students worldwide and was voted the University of the Year by the Times Higher Education Awards 2017. Students can earn degrees in business and management, arts and design, computer science and IT, and social sciences.
Nottingham Trent University’s business school has both EQUIS and AACSB accreditation and their Architecture, Design and the Built Environment School has Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors accreditation.
7. The Open University UK
The Open University UK has a wide range of degrees and certificates that it offers for students to earn. Some of these are under business and management, natural sciences and mathematics, engineering and technology, education and training, medicine and health, and law. The MBA at the Open University UK is a triple-accredited MBA.
8. Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands
Wageningen University & Research is a leading university for healthy food and living environment. Students can earn degrees in Medicine and Health, Natural Science and Mathematics, Arts, Design and Architecture, to name a few. This university is accredited by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO).
When considering where to earn your degree, consider online learning. Do your research to ensure that the school is accredited or take a look at some of the top online accredited schools mentioned.