given by six regional accrediting
associations. The criteria for accreditation are established by the members
of each association.
Schools are not required to be accredited to
operate as a college or university. But the federal government determines whether students at a
particular institution will
be granted federal financial assistance by whether the school is accredited.
Many institutions offering grants or other forms of financial aid usually require
an institutional to be accreditation if it wants to participate in their
programs. So, regional accreditation is essential for any school that wishes to
be part of mainstream higher education.
Problematic accreditation is given by accreditation
commissions affiliated with certain professions. There are commissions in fields
ranging from engineering to law. Each
profession's has its own criteria for accreditation.
Finding out if an Institution or Program is
You can check the current accreditation status of any institution on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation
(CHEA)'s page: http://www.chea.org.