What is an Accredited Online University?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2018
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An accredited online university means two important things. First, the university conducts most or all of its classes on the Internet, which can prove highly helpful for people who don’t have a college nearby that they want to attend, or who need to take classes with flexible scheduling. The second important feature of this term is that the university is accredited, and accreditation is undeniably valuable.

When people shop for online colleges to attend they should always look for an accredited online university. Accreditation assures that the college has met certain standards and has been reviewed by one or more accreditation boards to ascertain quality. In the US, some of the major accreditation sources are the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education. Other accreditation organizations may be specific to a particular field of study and these are important to look up if planning to attend an accredited online university that offers training in things like medicine or counseling.


There are numerous reasons that people want to choose an accredited online university. These include the fact that most accredited universities make people eligible for government financial aid, which may lower costs of school. Another important element is that accredited schools, have units that will be accepted by other accredited schools. If a person plans to complete a few years online and then attend elsewhere, they want to make sure that any work they do counts. If it isn’t viewed as having come from a reputable school, it may not mean that a degree or those units have truly been earned, and this can be a waste of time and money.

Moreover, any type of training to work in specific fields may not be counted unless the training occurred at an accredited online university. Non-accredited schools won’t be accepted with the same alacrity as are accredited ones, and some professions require that all training occur at a school that is accredited. Prospective students should ask about accreditation and check out answers with the accrediting boards the school cites to be certain they are truthful, especially if the online college is relatively new or unfamiliar.

There are lots of accredited online university choices, and the field continues to expand. Many of these schools offer excellent educations and lots of flexibility. When using a school that operates fully online, it’s simply important to make certain that accreditation is appropriate, so that all studies undertaken at that school are considered by other universities and the job world to be sufficient. In other words, make sure any education received at these schools counts as much as it would if it were undertaken on an offline accredited campus.



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