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Accreditation is a means of self-regulation and peer review adopted by the educational community. The accrediting process is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of higher education, making it worthy of public confidence. The extent to which each educational institution accepts and fulfills the responsibilities inherent in this process is a measure of its concern for freedom and quality in higher education and of its commitment to strive for and achieve excellence in its endeavors.

Accreditation is a voluntary process. Institutions choose to apply for accredited status. Once accredited, they agree to abide by the standards of their accrediting organization and to regulate themselves by taking responsibility for their own improvement. In addition, the federal government requires that an institution be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization in order for its students to be eligible to participate in the Student Assistance Programs in Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended (HEA).

Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (sacs)

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the recognized regional accrediting body in the eleven U.S. Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees. The Commission on Colleges is the representative body of the College Delegate Assembly and is charged with carrying out the accreditation process. (direct reprint from

1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia, 30033-4097;
to award Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees

Major universities in the United States are accredited by six regional accrediting organizations. From Harvard to Stanford, the regions are set up geographically and colleges and universities must pass strict admissions standards.

Council For Higher Education Accreditation

One Dupont Circle NW • Suite 510
Washington DC 20036-1135
202-955-6126 (voice)
202-955-6129 (fax)

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Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSA/CHE)

3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 662­5606
Fax (215) 662­5501

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) was established in 1919. It is a voluntary, non-governmental, peer-based membership association dedicated to educational excellence and improvement through peer evaluation and accreditation. As a recognized leader in promoting and ensuring quality assurance and improvement in higher education, the Commission defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence and responds creatively to a diverse, dynamic, global higher education community that is continually evolving.

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

209 Burlington Road Bedford
Massachusetts 01730-1433, USA
fax: 781/271-0950

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

The Higher Learning Commission is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Association was founded in 1895 as a membership organization for educational institutions. It is committed to developing and maintaining high standards of excellence.

The Association is one of six regional institutional accrediting associations in the United States. Through its Commissions it accredits, and thereby grants membership to educational institutions in the nineteen-state North Central region: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Commission on Colleges of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges

The Commission on Colleges and Universities of the Northwest Association of Schools and of Colleges and Universities is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation as the regional authority on the quality of institutions of higher education in the seven Northwest states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. The Commission is responsible for the evaluation and accreditation of eligible public and private colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education in the Northwest region.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six regional associations that accredit public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the United States. The Western region covers institutions in California and Hawaii, the territories of Guam, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Pacific Basin, and East Asia, and areas of the Pacific and East Asia where American/International schools or colleges may apply to it for service.