A school's accreditation from a reputable accrediting agency is a promise to you that outside eyes have studied the academic and fiscal operations of that institution, and that the institution has sound structure. This accreditation is crucial to credits you earn having the ability to be transferred to other colleges and universities. Schools that have lost accreditation are generally in danger of closing, and attending students are often left without a degree and with credits they have earned not transferring to other schools.
The US Department of Education collects and distributes a database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs in order to keep a public record and oversight of the accreditation system.
The Department of Education does not directly accredit institutions in the US,
it only oversees the many accrediting agencies and ensures that those agencies
uphold the standards that are required, determining which national and state
agencies are reliable authorities on education quality.
The information about accreditation is then collected from the recognized agencies and compiled into the database provided by the DoE.
This database only includes accreditation of programs and institutions inside the US. The most up-to-date status information for each institution can usually be found at the site for the individual accrediting agency, which we share individually with each school accreditation listing.
The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs is downloaded from the Department of Education. We last retrieved the data May 12, 2020.
We additionally identify those institutions that are accredited regionally. The list of regional agencies is presented inconsistently across sources, and we relied on the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) to identify the seven agencies which are responsible for the accreditations of about 3000 colleges and universities.