In order for your Master’s degree online to be worth more than the paper it is printed on, you have to make sure that you earn it from an accredited school. However, even diploma mills can set up phony accreditation agencies to give themselves fake accreditations. The importance comes in being able to weed out the imposters.
If you earn your Master’s degree online from a school that is accredited by legitimate accreditation agencies, you can be assured that the school meets all of the standards imposed by a panel of educational experts. With this accreditation, you will know that the Master’s degree online that you receive is as good as a Master’s degree earned from a traditional university. If you go with a school that is accredited by dummy accreditation agencies your diploma might not be worth any more than the paper it is printed on.
In the United States, there are two ways of recognizing legitimate accreditation agencies. They may be directly recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order to receive federal financial aid purposes. Or, the accreditation agencies may be indirectly recognized through a private organization known as The Council of Higher Education Accreditation, which works in association with the U.S. Department of Education.
Before going to earn your Master’s degree online, you want to make sure that it is accredited by legitimate accreditation agencies. There are six accreditation agencies that have been sanctioned by the Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation. These are: the Middle States Association, the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Each of the accreditation agencies is made up of regional associations of schools and colleges as well as national associations that limit themselves to certain types of institutions. Accreditation agencies may be listed with both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.
So, when shopping for your Master’s degree online look carefully into the accreditation agencies for the school. Diploma mills may claim to be “nationally accredited” or “accredited worldwide” but the accreditation is only as good as the agency that gave it. If the accreditation agencies are not nationally recognized, it should give you cause to believe that the school is suspect.