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Making Sure Your Online Bachelor’s Degree Is Accredited
Not all schools are created equal. Though a school may have a flashy website and what sounds like a great degree plan, you need to do some extra research before committing to any particular institution. After all, you do not want to go through the trouble of earning a bachelor’s degree only to find out that it is worthless. The best way to prevent that scenario from happening is to check your school’s accreditation status.
Online schools are typically not monitored due to the difficulty in doing so. This unfortunately means that some organizations may pose as legitimate online schools in order to dupe learners into giving them money for fake degrees. These “schools” are also known as diploma mills. They often lure in learners with a promise of an easy degree or dramatically reduced price, but those who sign up for such “schools” always end up with a worthless degree that is not accepted by employers. For this reason, be wary of any school that asks you to pay your entire tuition up front or that promises to give you your bachelor’s degree in less than three years.
Accreditation is one way to separate the legitimate schools from the diploma mills. Quality online schools are typically accredited, which means that they have been awarded accreditation for meeting a certain educational standard. However, some legitimate schools may not have accreditation because they never sought voluntary accreditation or are too new to be evaluated. Private accrediting agencies are responsible for accrediting schools. Yet, though these agencies are not run by the government, the U.S. Department of Education does provide those interested in online education with a valuable tool: The U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. This database contains all of the schools accredited by agencies that the Department of Education has deemed to be reliable authorities on education standards. When you are narrowing down your choices for schools, look up your school on the database. If your school is listed, then you can be assured that the degree you earn will be accepted by the majority of employers.
Earning a bachelor’s degree takes a great amount of time, patience, hard work, and dedication. If you are going to devote all of these things to your education, then you should ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited so that you can be sure that your efforts will be rewarded with a valuable degree.