Accreditation of Colleges and Universities
Most people don't take into account the accreditation of a school when applying, but it can play a big role in terms of employment beyond college, in terms of financial aid, transferability of credits, etc. The link provides information about institutions that are accredited by accrediting agencies that are recognized by the US Dept. of Educ:
Other useful sites include:
http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/edpicks.jhtml?src=ln, http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/list.jhtml, http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html?src=qc, http://www.chea.org/
Accreditation can be quite important in terms of applied sciences and fields such as architecture, medicine, law, and others. There are all types of occupational schools popping up, for-profit institutions, etc. that may be appealing but are not accredited and can negatively affect one's abilities to be licensed to legally practice in areas.
If one is considering transferring or obtaining advanced degrees, insufficient (or otherwise) accreditation can also negatively affect transferability of credits or whether one degree is recognized as valid by a graduate or post graduate institution.
I know less about the financial aid aspects of accreditation, but information is available at the sites above.
One can also use the accreditation information by contacting the accrediting agency to find out if complaints have been filed against a given institution recently, how many complaints, why, etc.
Submitted by: Devon L. Hill