Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs organization uses accreditation to determine if federal financial aid funds are being used for courses and programs that meet certain standards of excellence. USDE looks for rigorous academic programs, quality instruction, and good administrative and student retention tactics. You can search for your prospective school in a handy online index.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, is another resource to help you do a background check on your prospective school. CHEA lists programs that are accredited by itself, USDE, and other accreditation programs. CHEA bases its accreditation on an institution’s academics and overall quality as well as its commitment to improvement. You can view a database of over 7,800 institutions and more than 20,000 programs that are recognized by CHEA.

Contact representatives of your prospective program if you have specific questions or concerns. Before enrolling in a program, it is important to be completely comfortable with the institution that will be awarding your degree.

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