Skip to Content
Resource Articles //

What Do I Need to Know About Online University Accreditation?

Accreditation is a designation that indicates an institution has been assessed for and meets certain standards of quality and continuous improvement. Accreditation is determined after a college, university, or other institution of higher education goes through a rigorous review and assessment by an independent accreditation organization approved by the Department of Education. An accreditation organization’s job is to examine the institution’s capacity to meet best practices as set forth by its criteria for acceptable standards.

What Do I Need to Know About Online University Accreditation?

How You Benefit From Attending an Accredited Online College or University

Choosing to earn your degree online at an accredited university is a smart choice for several reasons, including:

Providing Quality Assurance
Attending an accredited online university, such as Walden University, means that you will benefit from the expertise and guidance of qualified faculty, the comprehensive education that comes from a robust curriculum and student-centered learning, and access to student support services and resources.

You can be confident that your chosen institution has met the standards of an independent accreditation organization. To retain the status of accreditation, Walden University participates in a thorough, months-long reaccreditation process every 10 years with The Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body approved by the Department of Education.

Bolstering Your Résumé
Most employers routinely review job applicants’ educational credentials, and a degree from an accredited university could help instill confidence in your academic background.

Paving the Way for State Licensure
If your job requires state licensure—like nurses, teachers, social workers, and other professionals—it is common for states to require that you have a degree from an accredited college or university.

Improving Your Chances for Federal Loans and Grants
If you are depending on financial aid from federal loans and grants to further your education, you need to enroll in an online college or university that is accredited. Otherwise, you could be ineligible for federal financial assistance programs.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) review accreditation organizations to make sure they are using effective accrediting practices. Specifically, the ED must keep watch to make sure that all federal student financial aid funds are being used for worthwhile academic institutions and programs that are giving students an education that meets certain standards of quality. If a college or university is not accredited, that raises a red flag that can cause federal financial aid requests to be denied.

Statistics show that very few students can afford to attend a university—on campus or online—without receiving financial aid. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students receiving financial aid at institutions with four-year degree programs was 86% in the academic year 2018–2019.1

Do Your Homework Before You Apply

Choosing an accredited university for your degree program is an important aspect of a successful education plan. A degree program from an accredited institution can help assure you that you will receive a quality learning experience that culminates in a degree that instills confidence in your academic achievement.

Learn more about Walden University’s online bachelor’s degree programs, master’s degree programs, doctoral degree programs, and certificate programs.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,