What Is An Accredited Higher Education Institution? What Makes It Special?

You’ve undoubtedly considered academic offerings, price, campus life, employment prospects, student support services, and teacher reputation while assessing post-secondary educational possibilities. These are undoubtedly crucial factors to take into account while choosing the institution that will best serve you and your objectives.

When assessing the quality and efficacy of a school, accreditation takes into account all of the aforementioned factors, in addition to others. However, what exactly is an accredited university and what does it imply for learners at all levels of the educational process?

What Is an Accredited University? And why does attending one matter?

“Accreditation is an evaluation of the quality of higher education institutions and programs,” claims the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). This might refer to a specific academic program or an entire school.

The Vice Provost for Academic Services at National University, Dr. Joseph Hoey, continues, “Accreditation is complex. At its most basic level, it serves as evidence that the school is carrying out its objective and offering high-quality education for children, their families, the state and federal governments, and other stakeholders.

Hoey explains that the first purpose of accreditation services was to guarantee the transferability of credits between institutions. For instance, a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree at another institution may be able to transfer credits acquired at a community college that awards associate degrees. In this case, accreditation proves that the community college’s education was reliable enough for the second school to believe in the student’s college experience.

The transferability of credits remains a key component of accreditation, although its application has grown and changed over time. Hoey claims that because accreditation has an impact on numerous facets of an institution and a student’s academic career, there are “many subparts” to it.

“What does academic rigor entail? He suggests that prospective students may wonder things like, “What are the results of pupils?” What are the chances of graduating from this college and what are the possibilities for employment?

Let’s examine more closely how and why college accreditation important for both on-campus and online degrees.

The accrediting status of a university is significant for a variety of reasons, including eligibility for financial aid and obtaining employment after graduation. Here are a few crucial points to remember:

  • Eligibility of Financial Aid:

This one is at the top since it is a crucial factor for the majority of pupils. Receiving financial aid of any kind is one of the most crucial elements for many people who want to attend or return to school in choosing whether or not they can pursue a degree. The same is true for educational institutions that want to provide state-funded financial aid, such as grant or loan programs.

Students will need to find alternative means of financing their education if a school is not recognized, such as taking out a personal loan or a private education loan or paying out of pocket.

Another way to look at financial aid is that universities themselves frequently get subsidies for campus infrastructure upgrades from the federal or state governments. Programs of this nature are often only available to approved institutions.

  • Academic Discipline:

The most important factor in choosing a school to attend is probably the quality of the education offered there. After all, you want to go away with the abilities and information necessary to continue in or improve in the job or vocation of your choice. Credentials that stand out on your CV and in the eyes of potential employers are what you want.

Hoey contends that operational and practical considerations are equally as important to accreditation as knowledge-based academics. Although a degree should be attainable, it shouldn’t necessarily be “simple.” An external evaluation of the curriculum makes ensuring that a school’s academic requirements and course content adhere to predetermined standards.

With accreditation, the content that is taught must also be current and relevant in order to be considered. This is crucial since many sectors and industries are evolving at a faster rate than previously thanks to technology, globalization, and other factors. This calls for academic programming to stay current with industry standards and best practices, as well as the tools and resources that students employ, including the software. Additionally, it means that the faculty members instructing in the programs must have up-to-date expertise in their subject area.

An institution’s reputation can be determined by its accreditation, which also takes into account the expertise of its faculty. A faculty member’s strength can be evaluated by taking a look at their record of publications and presentations, which show competence in their field and among peers. Practitioners may offer particular value depending on their training and years of experience. For instance, according to Hoey, “you’d expect the faculty members in this program to have specific experience as practical experts in the sector” for National’s cyber security classes.

  • Employment opportunities:

Many employers demand that graduates come from programs or schools that are accredited. Additionally, even if it is not needed, listing an accredited school on a resume may help employers distinguish between applicants.

According to Hoey, accreditation gives companies the information they need to determine whether an applicant had a high-quality education.

This can affect the quality of employment offers you get or whether you get an interview in the most competitive areas. Quality is important, both in and out of the classroom.

  • Institutional Viability:

Many post-secondary educational institutions have shut their doors in recent years. While there may be a number of causes for this, maintaining accreditation helps guarantee that a school is doing its part to deliver a high-quality education with successful student results. Longevity results from doing so.

According to Hoey, “the idea of making sure the college or university is financially sustainable is increasingly prevalent.” “This is an item for quality control.”

He continues by stating that this aspect of accreditation can provide a response to the query, “Will the school still be around when I graduate?”

The financial viability of an institution can also be influenced by a wide range of other accreditation criteria, such as alumni success and a low default rate.


So what is an accredited university? It all comes down to consumer protection in the end. Institutions are held accountable by accrediting organizations for the information they provide to potential students. Students must use the facts at hand to decide what is best for their educational requirements.