One of the first steps any prospective student should take before enrolling in a college or university, is to verify whether or not the school is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. ACISC™ is a national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.


Accreditation is a voluntary activity initiated by the institution. It requires a rigorous self-evaluation and an independent, objective peer appraisal of the overall educational quality. Accreditation emphasizes quality assurance and a commitment to continuous quality enhancement. To achieve accreditation by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACISC™), an institution must:

  • Comply with rigorous standards

  • Develop and implement a Campus Effectiveness Plan

  • Undergo an annual review of its financial stability and its retention and placement rates

  • Host announced and unannounced site visits

If judged to be in compliance with established standards, an accreditation status may be granted for a period ranging from three to six years.


Accreditation is important because it:

  • Helps determine if an institution meets or exceeds minimum quality standards.

  • Helps students determine acceptable institutions for enrollment.

  • Assists institutions in determining acceptability of transfer credits.

  • Helps employers determine the validity of programs of study and whether a graduate is qualified. Employers often require evidence that applicants have received a degree from an accredited school or program.

  • Helps employers determine eligibility for employee tuition reimbursement programs.

  • Enables graduates to sit for certification examinations.

  • Involves staff, faculty, students, graduates, and advisory boards in institutional evaluation and planning.

  • Creates goals for institutional self-improvement.

  • Provides a self-regulatory alternative for state oversight functions.

  • Provides a basis for determining eligibility for federal student assistance. Students must attend an accredited institution to apply for federal grants or loans.


State licensing agencies, higher education commissions, and other bureaus for private postsecondary education grant institutions authorization to operate in their states. ACISC™ cooperates with the states by considering for accreditation only those institutions licensed by the state. ACISC™ also keeps the states informed of accreditation activities affecting the institutions in their states.