The Importance of Accreditation in Online Education

As the number of online schools reaches unprecedented heights in the past decade, students who pursue online courses now must follow up on accreditation.

Specifically, the culprits are illegitimate websites that, in exchange for sums of money, offer online degrees in unusually shorter periods. More often than not, such schools, (or “degree mills”) offer such degrees without substantial resources and services.

Because such illegitimate schools, with all their claims of yielding students college degrees in a short span of time, cut through the corners of providing essential educational tools and appropriate services, students in turn do not get enough quality education in the first place, much less getting a shred of related educational material from the online school.

To curb such potential setbacks, the government has allowed independent agencies to accredit the legitimacy and competency of online schools and specific online programs in specialized job fields. However, a number of flaws in the policies, marked by the rise of accreditation agencies made by the illegitimate online schools themselves, have led to false or unwarranted accreditation of some distance learning institutions.

Thus, before you even spend your college savings on an online course, check whether the specific school in which you intend to enroll is certified by any of the accreditation agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education or the National Education Association (NEA).

Legitimate accreditation reflects the competitive standards of online schools. When a student obtains his or her accredited diploma, such achievement, which the student has worked hard for, is a reflection of the competitive level of education that he or she has received from the accredited online school. In contrast, earning an online degree from an illegitimate school would hamper your chances of landing on a job that requires diplomas or degrees. But with a genuine diploma, employers feel confident hiring you, whether you received your degree from an online school or a traditional academic institution.

Also, students who intend to apply for a college loan are often required to provide documents and essential information that reflect the legitimacy of their online school. Thus, you might lose your chance of having your loan application approved if such school is not recognized by pertinent educational boards.

With all the hard-earned money you have saved for a diploma from online learning, acquiring a legitimate degree is your one-way ticket to landing on a career that you deserve to have in the first place.


Washington Post

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