There are two groups of "Approved" government sanctioned accreditors in the world today. One group represents the USA's Department of Education. It contains a list of approved private accreditors that permits their sanctioned and accredited members to qualify for and receive US Government student loan resources. If an accreditor is not approved by the US Education Department nor has sought such approval, then that agency's members are not eligible to apply for US Government loan assistance for their students.

The other group of government accreditors are strictly government licensed. They represent official approval to operate and award degrees and are located in each of the 50 American States, US Commonwealth countries, US Territories, and 193 nations everywhere else in the world. These states and nations sanction and license institutions of higher learning to conduct programs and award degrees within their jurisdictions.

In the case of individual national government sanctioning bodies, membership in UNESCO, the education arm of the United Nations allows for reciprocity by and among member nations for degrees earned in those nations. In every instance these degrees are recognized by the government issuing the approval. Currently the US Department of Education does not provide reciprocity for US students to attend one of these other accredited international schools with US government assisted student aid.
The USA Department of Education has many agencies on its approved list. The ones listed below are those that are the most notorious approval agencies that accredit member schools and permit their students eligibility for US Government Guaranteed Student Loans:

Six agencies noted above with an asterisk * advertise in one way or the other that they are among the six regionally approved accrediting agencies. This slightly misleading information overlooks the fact that there are at least five other agencies who are also approved. Technically, the others are not regional, they are national. Reginal agencies may or may not accept transfer credit from "national" accreditors. A more complete list is available from the USDE but those other than the SIX are all national in scope and may accredit schools anywhere in the USA. Unlike the restrictions placed on the regional agencies who are tied to specific areas of the USA, they are free to operate anywhere.



The Top Accreditor in the USA

Of all the accreditors approved by the US Department of Education, the Academy rates the Southern Association the most stringent. This does not mean that the other associations are not equally as thorough in their peer reviews of member schools but rather that they may be more forgiving and less likely to deny, put on probabtion, or suspend accreditation.