Is Your Online Degree Program Valid?
One thing I always look for is the ".edu" at the end of a school's URL. (web address) Since October of 2001, only institutions officially accredited by the Department of Education accrediting agencies have been allowed to apply for and receive the domain extension .edu.
Generally, if you see the .edu at the end of a URL it's a major clue that you are looking at an accredited institution. If you don't see the .edu -- you gotta ask - WHY NOT?
Having said that, I must strongly warn you that there were quite a few .edu's issued to non-accredited entities before the restriction in 2001. So, just because you see the .edu does not automatically pass the website as totally legit. You still need to check with the Dept. of Ed accrediting agencies to verify the legitimacy of the institution.
Caution: Just because an institution is accredited doesn't mean every credit you earn there will transfer to any other accredited college.
That's a whole 'nother ball of wax.
United States College Accreditation Agencies:
United States Education Accrediting Agencies
Delaware,District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York,Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico.
Connecticut,Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.
The North Central Associationof Colleges and Schools.
Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming.
The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
Correspondence study and distance education institutions. This organization accredits some absolutely fantastic schools, but the accreditation comes with a caveat. Your credits may not transfer to other accredited schools.
List of Fake, Phony Accreditation Agencies
Get Educated is a leader in spotting fake agencies and has collected this giant list for over 20 years. Do yourself a favor and check this list before enrolling.