Fred DiUlus' Insider Look at National Collegiate Accreditation
There are two groups of "Approved" government sanctioned college accrediting agencies in the world today. One group represents the USA's Department of Education. It contains a list of approved private organizations that permits their sanctioned and accredited members to qualify for and receive US Government student loan resources. If an accrediting agency is not approved by the US Education Department nor has sought such approval, then that agency's members are not eligible to apply for US Government loan assistance for their students
The other group of government accrediting agencies are strictly government licensed. This other group of agencies represent official approval to operate and award degrees in each of the 50 American States, US Commonwealth countries, US Territories, and 193 nations everywhere else in the world listed with the United Nations as institutions of higher learning. These states and nations sanction and license schools to conduct programs and award degrees within their jurisdictions.
In the case of individual national government sanctioning bodies, a membership in UNESCO, the education arm of the United Nations allows for reciprocity by, between, and among member nations for degrees earned in authorized colleges in those nations. In every instance these degrees are recognized by the government issuing the approval. Currently the US Department of Education does not provide reciprocity for US students to attend one of these other accredited international schools with US government assisted student aid. Not because they can't but because the Congress has been silent on it. That is the prohibition.
The USA Department of Education however has many accredited sanctioning agencies on its approved list. The ones below are those that are the most notorious approval agencies that accredit member schools and permit their accredited members students individiual eligibility for US Government Guaranteed Student Loans:
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
- Distance Education and Training Council
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools *
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges *
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools *
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges *
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools *
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges *
- The Association for Biblical Higher Education
- The American Academy for Liberal Education
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
Six of the agencies noted above with an asterisk * advertise in one way or the other that they are among an elite group of six regionally approved accrediting agencies. This slightly misleading information overlooks the fact that there are at least five other agencies who are also approved. Technically, the others are not regional, they are national. Regional agencies may or may not accept transfer credit from either "national" or their regional cohorts; a fact the public is basically uniformed about regarding this right to accept or refuse a transfer student even thought they are coming from a so-called accredited body sanctioned by the US , Department of Education. The difference between national and regional agencies is simple. Nationals can accredit colleges in any state, US territory, or US Possession such as the US Virgin Islands, Guam Puerto Rico, the Marshall Islands, et al. Regional agencies by their nature are tied to the region in which they were created to serve.
One last thing: Of all the accrediting agencies approved by the US Department of Education, the one rated tops is the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. In the total scheme of things, it is a hollow accolade. The only word that counts today is the word ACCREDITED. Where that accreditation comes from is becoming virtually meaningless as no universal measuring stick is available except perhaps regional bias and prejudice to determine among the student graduates from the various accredited venues, which of them learned and which of them really learned.