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Accredited Online University

Accredited Online University

Accredited Online University:

Accreditation is a process of self-regulation and peer Audit and review adopted by the educational society. The accrediting process is aimed at strengthening and sustaining the quality and integrity of education as a whole and higher education in particular, making it worthy of public acceptance , public confidence for continuing their education.

Importance of Accreditation and Accredited Online University :

According to the Department of Education, college accreditation is used by students and universities alike to do the following :

1) verify that a college or an university meets established standards

2) assist students in identifying acceptable colleges or universities
create goals for self-improvement and raising of standards among educational institutions

3) establish criteria for professional certification and licensure and for upgrading courses offering such preparation .

4) provide criteria used as a basis for receiving federal financial assistance and student aid .

Legitimacy of Accredited Online university:
With all the online universities and online degree programs popping up on the Internet lately, it's vital to check if the online college or university is accredited. Also make sure the accrediting agency is legitimate and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Accreditation. Directory of Accredited Online Degrees and accredited online university will give you the list for reference.


Diploma or degree mills come in many ways. Some degree mills openly offer to sell a degree and perhaps a transcript from a legitimate school by declaring that they are an accredited online university .
Others can be easily recognized by promising that an applicant or student can receive a degree in a very short time, sometimes as little as five days. Another type of degree mill will purport to look at an applicant’s life experience and award a degree based solely on a description of this experience.

Others may require the student to submit papers or other assignments, but still will provide the degree in a short period of time with much less work than would be required by legitimate institutions and accredited on line university.

An advertisement that claims a student can “earn” a degree in much less time than it would take at a legitimate institution is likely evidence that the school is a degree mill.

Resemblance of a Mill to an accredited online university :
Degree mills may resemble legitimate institutions in many ways.

For example, many legitimate schools provide credit for life experience, but almost all of these schools require students to provide more documentation ,demonstrating how their experience relates to the learning objectives of the course or courses for which they are seeking credit and may require papers that relate the experience to the course requirements as well.

Some schools will also provide opportunities for completing the requirements for a degree in a short period of time. Typically, however, these kinds of programs are intended for students who have completed a considerable number of college-level courses, perhaps at a number of institutions, but have not put these credits together to complete a degree.

Degree mills are not a new phenomenon. During the latter part of the 19th century, the value of the degree increased substantially, as evidenced by the passage of the Morrill Land Grant Act and the founding of many new colleges.

This created a market for degrees, and fraudulent degree providers moved into the market to meet the demand. The first documented reference to degree mills was in 1876 when John Eaton, a United States Commissioner of Education, called them a disgrace to American education .

Why Should We Be Concerned about Degree Mills?
The primary reason to be concerned about degree mills is that they demean the value of learning and the importance of educational standards by treating degrees only as a commercial trading commodity to be bought and sold.

This is a primary reason why the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and accrediting organizations are concerned about degree mills.

However, there are other reasons as well.
In some cases, degree mills defraud individuals who are misled by the promises of the purported school that the degree they earn from the school will have some value.

Individuals with bogus degrees also present a danger to the public.
This is particularly true of those who receive bogus credentials in fields where they could present a threat to health, safety or well-being.

A quick look at the degree mills advertising on the Internet shows that degree mills offer degrees in fields such as nursing, nutrition, electrical and mechanical engineering, biochemistry and accounting, at significant risk to the public.

Also, degree mills are unfair to the millions of individuals who have worked hard to earn legitimate degrees.

What Can Be Done About Degree Mills?
The laws of individual states govern the licensure or authorization of educational institutions that reside within their borders. Some states have laws that have discouraged degree mills from operating within their jurisdictions.

Typically, in the case of degree mills, state presence was a mailbox. Other states provide very little oversight of educational entities. In the past, degree mills would set up operation in such states, and if a state strengthened its licensure law, degree mills would simply move to another state and begin operation there. The fact that most degree mills operate on the Internet can make state laws less reliable, due to the difficulty of pinpointing their location.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, a Federal Bureau of Investigation initiative called “Dipscam” was successful in investigating and bringing charges against the perpetrators of degree mills. However, since that time there has been limited law enforcement activity. It is also probably true that degree mills have grown more sophisticated in avoiding legal problems, perhaps making legal remedies ultimately ineffective.

Fewer make false claims as to the nature of the “education” to be gained and its benefits. Hence, individuals would tend to find it difficult to file claims against the degree mill for false advertising. And, as noted above, the fact that most degree mills operate online also makes detection of the responsible individuals difficult.

What accrediting organizations are recognized?
“Recognition” is a process of review of the quality and effectiveness of accrediting organizations.

This review is carried out either by CHEA (a private body) or the federal government through the USDE.

CHEA’s primary purpose is to assure and strengthen academic quality and ongoing quality improvement in courses, programs and degrees in accredited online universities.

CHEA’s recognition is based on five standards that include, e.g., advancing academic quality and encouraging needed improvement.

The USDE’s primary purpose is to assure that federal student aid funds are purchasing quality courses and programs.

USDE’s recognition is based on ten standards that include attention to, e.g., recruitment and admissions practices, fiscal and administrative capacity and facilities.

How to learn more about accreditation ? and Accredited Online university ?

CHEA Research and Publications

This Website contains links to CHEA fact sheets, letters and publications dealing with a range of topics related to accreditation. Among the subjects included are quality in distance learning, student learning outcomes and the accreditation process.

How can I know if an accrediting organization may be a mill?
If the answers to many of the following questions are “yes,” the accrediting organization under consideration may be a “mill”:
1. Does the operation allow accredited status to be purchased?
2. Does the operation publish lists of institutions or programs they claim to have accredited without those institutions and programs knowing that they are listed or have been accredited?
3. Does the operation claim that it is recognized (by, e.g., USDE or CHEA) when it is not?
4. Are few if any standards for quality published by the operation?
5. Is a very short period of time required to achieve accredited status?
6. Are accreditation reviews routinely confined to submitting documents and do not include site visits or interviews of key personnel by the accrediting organization?
7. Is “permanent” accreditation granted without any requirement for subsequent periodic review, either by an external body or by the organization itself?
8. Does the operation use organizational names similar to recognized accrediting organizations?
9. Does the operation make claims in its publications for which there is no evidence?

There are accrediting organizations that may not be recognized but are not accreditation mills.

For example, the accreditor may be seeking recognition, but the process is not complete. Or the accreditor does not meet the requirements of CHEA or USDE for reasons that do not relate to quality.

Financial Aids for Online universities :

Financial Aid, Grants, and Scholarships for Online Education
While it is estimated that online learning may capture as much as 20% of all higher education enrolments in the future, recent surveys suggest that this number would be higher if financial aid, scholarships and online education were playing by the same rules.

While some might argue that technology is a pale substitute for a Class room educational facility, realizing career ambitions through normal educational channels is difficult for anyone who finds their time spread across family, employment and personal needs.

Current technology now allows many of these professionals an alternative method of learning through courses offered 24-hours-a-day through the Internet.

Accredited Online University Students Gain Access to Grants, Scholarships, and Loans in USA: Non term and Standard term institutions:

After years of debate, the United States Department of Education has eased some of the restrictions, most notably the 12-hour rule. Now there are two financial aid definitions, one for non-term institutions and another for standard-term institutions. Online programs now must offer at least one day of instruction per week.

For the first time since the start of online learning, scholarship and financial aid options for students are now the same.

In addition to Pell grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity grants, there are three more loan programs available for online students including direct loans, family educational loans and Perkins loans.

Low interest Perkins Loans are directed at students who demonstrate the most need. Contact the financial aid office of the school or online program you wish to attend for more options on financing your career and future.

Published: 2006-04-09

About the author or the publisher
Iam a professional writer for various websites .My interest is in Current affairs and any public related topics , Management development and On line related issues. Iam from Singapore .

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