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Regarding U.S. college accreditation, here are five of the most frequently asked questions by international students:

  1. How do I know if a school is accredited?
  2. Where do I find the list of accredited schools?
  3. Why should I only attend an accredited school?
  4. Who validates the accreditation of U.S. colleges and universities?
  5. Once a school is accredited, is the accreditation valid forever?

Below are our answers to all 5 questions:

1.How do I know if a school is accredited?
Answer:
Search for Accredited colleges or universities, click here.

2. Where do I find the list of accredited schools?
Answer: 
Same as question #1.

3. Why should I only attend an accredited school?
Answer:
Because an accredited school has to follow certain standardized academic qualities and abide by strict regulations in order to be          considered a legitimately “accredited school.” Please note that even accredited schools have various academic qualities.   But keep in mind that even accredited schools, like a corporation, may focus more on profits rather than what’s in the best interests of its’ students.

4. Who validates the accreditation of U.S. colleges and universities?
Answer:
It is not the job of U.S. Department of Education to accredit any institution.  According to Wikipedia, “the department and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) (a non-governmental organization) both recognize reputable accrediting bodies for institutions of higher education and provide guidelines as well as resources and relevant data regarding these accreditors.”

There are six accreditors in the U.S. for higher education institutions.  Any accredited school has to get its accreditation from one of the six agencies, according to its location. These accreditors are:

Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

5. Once a school is accredited, is the accreditation valid forever?
Answer:
No.   An accredited school can lose its’ accreditation if it does not conform to the accrediting bodies’ regulations, and/or if it breaks U.S. laws.