For-profit schools are notorious for offering poor academics and prioritizing revenue over student success. Unaccredited for-profit colleges are even worse, lacking quality standards and recognition.
Still, many students choose to attend for-profit colleges, especially popular online schools like the University of Phoenix and Capella University. But is the University of Phoenix accredited? Is Capella University accredited? Here are over 100 for-profit schools that hold institutional accreditation.
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What For-Profit Schools Are Accredited?
Most for-profit schools hold institutional accreditation from a national accrediting agency. These accreditors primarily assess for-profit and trade schools.
While the U.S. government no longer distinguishes between national and regional accreditation, many still consider regional accreditors to be the gold standard due to their more stringent accreditation processes.
Some well-known for-profit schools are accredited by regional agencies. For example, the University of Phoenix holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, which also accredits big-name nonprofit schools like the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame.
Some for-profit schools may hold programmatic accreditation for individual programs. Programs specializing in professional fields like healthcare, business, social work, and law typically seek programmatic accreditation to meet licensure and employer requirements.
The following table contains 101 accredited for-profit schools. All accreditation statuses are accurate as of February 2023.
What For-Profit Schools Are NOT Accredited?
As you research for-profit schools' accreditation statuses, remember that accreditation requires periodic renewal.
Many colleges stand to lose accreditation in the coming months. The main reason for losing accreditation is failing to meet the accrediting agency's quality standards.
Schools that don't have accreditation are often diploma mills. As the name suggests, diploma mills award unrecognized degrees for little to no academic effort on the part of students.
Like colleges, accreditation agencies can also lose recognition. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education no longer recognize the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which previously accredited many for-profit institutions.
You can check CHEA for the latest information on recognized accreditors.
Here are some examples of unaccredited for-profit schools you should avoid applying to:
- American Business and Technology Institute
- Broadview College
- IAP Career College
- Light University
- Schiller International University
- Southern States University
- Suncoast College of Health
Should You Attend an Accredited For-Profit School?
In general, you should avoid attending a for-profit school. Nonprofit schools such as local community colleges can offer you a more affordable education and will provide you with a recognized degree and credits that you can transfer easily.
That said, some people choose to attend for-profit schools for reasons like cost, flexibility, and specific academic offerings. Ultimately, it's up to you to weigh the pros and cons.
Reasons to Attend an Accredited For-Profit School
- For-profit schools tend to offer a bigger variety of vocational programs than community colleges and four-year universities.
- For-profit schools may offer more flexibility, such as a larger number of fully online and asynchronous programs.
- For-profit schools tend to have higher acceptance rates than nonprofit colleges.
Reasons Not to Attend an Accredited For-Profit School
- For-profit schools' tuition rates generally exceed those of public, nonprofit schools where you qualify for in-state tuition.
- The poor reputations of some for-profit schools may make it harder for you to land a job or transfer to a nonprofit college.
- You may receive less academic and career support at a for-profit school than you would at a nonprofit school.