Knowing the accreditation status of a college, university or program is important for both short-term and long-term reasons. Graduate students need to attend a college, university, or program that’s accredited in order to qualify for federal (and sometimes state) loans and grants, as well as private tuition assistance. Likewise, in order for a graduate program or school to qualify for federal grants and loans or other federal funds, the federal government requires accreditation. State governments require that a graduate program or school be accredited in order to allow students to sit for state licensure exams in some professional fields. In the case of nurse education, the U.S. Secretary of Education recognizes state agencies for approving nursing programs at all levels.

Like the government, employers acknowledge the value of accreditation, and give tuition assistance to employees enrolled only in graduate programs and schools that are accredited. Future employers, too, evaluate a job candidate’s education based on whether the graduate school or program they attended was accredited.

You’ve worked hard to earn the grades needed to complete a bachelor’s degree and move on to the graduate level. Make sure that the graduate program you’re considering is making the grade, too.

Keep reading: Accreditation Specific to Graduate Programs