If you’re wondering if online colleges are legal, we’re here to say yes, there are a lot of solid college options that are worth your money. Are online universities legal?
Renowned online universities will be accredited
If you are enrolled in a school that is not accredited, your degree will not be worth the paper on which it is printed. Accreditation shows that the school meets educational standards set and enforced by the audit committee of educators and administrators at the university level.
Accreditation is supported by various regional agencies depending on the location of the school. For Internet-only schools, the accreditation agency is usually based on the school’s headquarters. Schools with multiple locations may be accredited by several different accreditation commissions in different geographical regions.
Online schools are subject to the same accreditation requirements as full-time schools.
Avoid programs that seem too good to be true
Legal online programs have admission and graduation requirements that should be fairly similar to comparable traditional programs. If you can enter the school without an application process, if you get credit for “life experience”, or if the school claims you can get a diploma by post in an incredibly short time, the program is usually not legal. Also, avoid those that charge a flat fee instead of paying for course credits during classes – especially if the fee seems relatively low compared to the value of the degree you expect to get.
The reality is that if the program seems too easy, it’s probably a scam. Although it is possible to test some classes, beware of programs that promise a full degree through testing and life experience.
Is your online degree serious?
If you want your online diploma to be taken seriously, start by making sure it is a serious degree, that is, it has been awarded by a properly accredited online school.
Regional accreditation agencies
The institutional accrediting sector is divided into regional and national accreditation agencies. Basically, regional accreditation agencies enjoy greater credibility and merit. When you’re looking for a college or university, you’ll really be looking for a seal of approval from one of the regional accreditation agencies. Only accredited colleges or universities are eligible for financial assistance. Moreover, accreditation usually indicates that the institution not only maintains its standards, but continues to progress and remains relevant in its field.