Choosing a College: Accreditation Could Decide Your Fate

January 9, 2013 2:32 pm

Choosing a College: Accreditation Could Decide Your Fate

The type of college you choose will be based on more than just simple curriculum and price. Your decision in a college should also be affected by their accreditation and by the future that you are planning for yourself. Essentially, ignoring the accreditation of the college could mean that you lose credits if you plan to advance your degree further in the future.

Types of Accreditation

There are two main types of accreditation, regional and national. Both types of accreditation have different options and can provide a different future for you. There is also a major price difference between the types of accreditation that should be taken into account.

National Accreditation

National accreditation is generally the less expensive option. This means that the debt you will have leaving college will be dramatically less and the amount you pay out of pocket while in school will be very low. However, national accreditation comes with a serious downside to those who plan to attend college again in the future. Many of their credits do not transfer to other colleges and pretty much dead end when you graduate.

If you plan to follow up your degree in another college, this will not be the best option for you in the future.

Regional Accreditation

Regional Accreditation is recognized on a larger scale than National accreditation. Regional accreditation typically consists of four credit classes that will transfer to many other colleges and universities.

The cost of regional accreditation may be a lot steeper than its counterpart, national accreditation. However, if you plan to advance your degree to a higher level, you will want to invest the extra money into regional accreditation classes.

Making Your Decision

When you are weighing your options between regional and national accreditation, it may be tempting to spend less money to get your degree. However, there are a few things that you should take into consideration before you make your decision.

  1. Will you be attending college again in the future?
  2. Will you be transferring to a university?
  3. Will your next college degree be on, or near the same focus?
  4. Will you be transferring to a different college to fix the specific degree?

The Price Difference

Many times the price differences are based on the extra number of credit hours and the addition of more classes. These classes offer a more in-depth learning environment and allow you to gain more of the skills necessary to preform your job with ease.

Many people choose a college because of the low price. Many times, they regret this decision years down the road when they must pay again to take classes because they did not transfer.

Student Loans

If you are worried about the price of a regionally accredited college, you should invest time in discovering student loans. This will help you afford a college that you typically could not.

Another option that will greatly help you pay for college is student grants. These grants are money that you do not have to pay back. You should utilize them before you invest your student loan money. This can greatly reduce the debt that you will acquire throughout your time in college.

Other options you can look into are living off campus. This can greatly reduce the amount of money that you have to pay out for living expenses, which is one of the main contributors to student loan debt.

Take Advantage of Employer Incentives

Many employers have an incentive which helps you pay for a portion of your college tuition. This can help you dramatically when it comes to a huge expense like this.