Tips For Finding Schools That Accept Nationally Accredited Credits


Introduction: Navigating the College Search Process

Trying to find colleges that accept nationally accredited credits? Let’s start with the basics. A college education is a significant investment in your future. Yet, for it to become an investment, it needs to align with your goals and the job market. One way of ensuring a high ROI is enrolling in reputable colleges. 

During your college search, you’ll encounter two main types of school accreditation: Regional and National. These accreditations ensure that students will receive a high-quality and valuable education. But while both accreditations are marks of quality, they are not the same.

It’s important to understand the difference between regional and national accreditation. 

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Regional accreditation is typically seen as the gold standard. However, students with nationally accredited credits shouldn’t feel limited in their college choices.

It isn’t easy to transfer nationally accredited credits to regionally accredited colleges. Yet, it’s not impossible. There are a few regionally accredited colleges that accept nationally accredited credits. 

What colleges accept nationally accredited credits? Let’s find out.

Understanding Credit Transfer: What Are Nationally Accredited Credits?

Nationally accredited credits are usually earned from private, career-specific schools/programs. Some are also earned from distance learning programs or schools with religious affiliations. 

Some nationally accredited colleges fall short of the requirements for degree programs. Therefore, they can only offer certifications.

However, with the rise of online and distance learning formats, many diploma mills seem to have created their own “accreditation” agencies. Degree mills’ aggressive marketing strategies are deceiving.

To ensure the school’s accrediting agency is legitimate, confirm by visiting the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website. The CHEA website displays recognized national accrediting agencies. You can also cross-reference the accrediting agency with the U.S. Department of Education.

The most popular CHEA-recognized agencies include: 

  • Council on Occupational Education
  • Association for Biblical Higher Education
  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

There are benefits to attending a national accredited college/program, including:

  • Affordability 
  • Less focus on general/liberal arts courses
  • Career-orientated and practical coursework
  • Easier admissions requirements and process

Yet, there are also clear disadvantages to attending a nationally accredited college.

  • Credits are likely to be ignored by regionally accredited schools. 
  • It might give you difficulty in securing a professional license. 
  • It may not qualify you for tuition reimbursement. 
  • Requires more independent study. 

Despite its disadvantages, it doesn’t mean that these schools offer substandard education. They simply emphasize specialized interests.

Why Transferable Credits Matter: Exploring the Benefits for Students

Many college students transfer to different schools before completing their degrees. Some students transfer to enroll in different majors, while others are for educational advancement. Yet, some students transfer for cost-related reasons. 

Whatever the reason is, transfer credits are important. Utilizing transfer credits has several benefits. 

  • It can have a profound effect on your career planning.
  • Allows you to reduce the time required to complete degrees.
  • Helps you explore diverse educational environments and curricula. 
  • Provide you with the flexibility to continue education seamlessly, regardless of disruptions.
  • It enhances academic mobility. 
  • It significantly reduces the overall cost of education.

Finding Colleges That Accept Nationally Accredited Credits: Tips and Strategies

Students from nationally accredited institutions transfer to regionally accredited universities for educational advancement. However, there are only a few regionally accredited schools that accept nationally accredited credits. And even then, the process is challenging and often impossible. This is why it’s so important to find colleges that accept nationally accredited credits.

If you have not earned credits yet, you have the biggest advantage. You should pursue nationally accredited colleges with transfer agreements. This setup helps you have a seamless transfer credit experience. In fact, there’s a big possibility that you’ll be able to transfer 100% of your nationally accredited credits.

Community college websites often feature a comprehensive list of transferable courses. They also explain how these credits transfer to a regionally accredited university. 

But for those who have already earned nationally accredited credits, we suggest not to get your hopes high. Here are the strategies you can try:

Consider less reputable regionally accredited institutions.  

Regional accreditation online colleges typically have lenient transfer credit policies. These schools often operate in for-profit models. Some of these schools include:

  • Liberty University
  • Excelsior University
  • Bellevue University 
  • Grand Canyon University (Online)
  • University Of Phoenix
  • Keiser University

Yet, it’s important to know that there will still be stipulations. 

File an appeal

Appealing to the school may offer a slim possibility for transfer credits. Yet, the process for reviewing and considering appeals varies. You need to meet with an academic advisor in your desired university and ask them about the school’s existing appeals process.

Thanks to the World Wide Web, finding information about accredited colleges has never been easier. Here are some of the most trusted sources that will help you research accredited colleges:

  1. Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
  2. Educational Resources Information Center
  3. Google Books
  4. Google Scholar
  5. Infotopia
  6. iSeek
  7. Lexis Web
  8. Microsoft Academic
  9. PubMed Central
  10. Refseek
  11. ResearchGate
  13. Virtual Learning Resources Center
  14. Wolfram Alpha
  15. WorldWideScience

Factors to Consider: Beyond Credit Transfer Policies

Credit transfers are very important. However, there are other things you need to consider when pursuing a college education.  

Cost of Attendance

This is the #1 factor you need to consider. If you don’t have many financial assets, it’s important to enroll in affordable schools. While financial aid packages exist, they’re often not enough to cover the whole cost. 

Attending expensive colleges will lead to significant student loans and debts. This can affect the ROI of your degree. 

Location, Location, Location

Pick a school nearby if you want to stay close to your family. For many students, being close to home offers security and support. If you’re prone to anxiety, nationally accredited universities nearby may suit you better. 

Support Services 

Look into what each institution offers in terms of support services. Choose an institution that offers services that align with your specific needs. Additionally, consider the accessibility and effectiveness of these services. Do they have a dedicated staff? Are they readily available when needed? Do they have a good reputation among current students?

Overall Fit

Not everyone is built for competitive learning environments. Determine if the institution’s learning environment aligns with your academic preferences. Consider class sizes, teaching methodologies, academic rigor, and campus culture.

Making Informed Decisions: Visiting Colleges and Gathering Information

Campus visits are a crucial component of the college search process. These trips allow you to learn more about the institution, which ultimately helps you make more informed decisions about your college choices. 

Here are some of the benefits:

Exploring Campus Life 

Visiting a college campus gives you insights into campus life. It also allows you to interact with current students and evaluate resources and facilities. This will help you assess if the school is a culturally compatible environment for your academic journey.

Information gathering

You can look around the amenities offered to students when you visit a college campus. You can get a sense of the resources available to you and the caliber of the infrastructure with campus visits.

Networking opportunities

Campus visits allow you to meet with academic professors, administrators, students, and alumni. Small talks will help you start building a network. Often, these networks result in rewards such as waived application fees or personalized counseling.

Financing Your Education: Tips for Paying for College

After receiving the acceptance letter, the real work begins. One of the hardest parts of a college education journey is finances. 

While student loans exist, they should be the least of your choices. Many options can help you plan for and minimize the costs of higher education.

  1. Start with the FAFSA
  2. Research external scholarships and grants 
  3. Apply for work-study
  4. Pursue a part-time job, paid internship, or co-op programs
  5. Consider talking to your financial advisor

Scholarships and Financial Aid: Opportunities for College Students

For many students, there is no other way to pay for college other than through financial aid. These opportunities alleviate the financial burden of college education. As long as you’re enrolled in an accredited institution, you’ll have access to both federal and private financial assistance. 

Here are a few tips for securing scholarships and financial aid opportunities:

  1. Start applying for the FAFSA early. If possible, before your college application deadlines.
  2. Maximize online databases and search engines dedicated to scholarship opportunities. 
  3. Write strong scholarship essays.
  4. Do not limit yourself. Apply for as many scholarships as you’re eligible.
  5. Keep track of scholarship deadlines, requirements for submission, and submission materials.

Conclusion: Empowering Your College Search Journey

Transfer credits optimize your educational route. However, transferring credits is not a walk in the park. This is especially true for students with nationally accredited credits. In most cases, transferring these credits to regionally accredited schools is impossible.

If you’re considering nationally accredited schools for their benefits, it’s best to choose ones with transfer agreements. This setup ensures that your hard-earned credits won’t go to waste.