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Before a U.S. institution can become accredited, it usually must obtain a license from the state in which it is chartered, authorizing the institution to award a degree. Some states require accreditation as a pre-condition for licensing.
If a college or university wants its students to obtain loans and grants from the federal government through the Student Assistance Programs in Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended, the institution must have regional or national accreditation. There are some colleges in the United States that obtain only a license from their state and they are not accredited, but their students do not have access to federal funds.
The federal government, therefore, protects its financial interest by requiring accrediting organizations to ensure that their member institutions comply with certain federal regulations. To accomplish this oversight, it reviews in detail the operations of each accreditor at least every five years. The U.S. Secretary of Education then publishes a list of accreditors that are recognized as reliable authorities on the quality of colleges and universities (commonly called “gatekeepers”).
(The previous information has been taken from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education website.)
For more information about SUNY Plattsburgh's Middle States reaccreditation process, please contact:
Provost/VP for Academic Affairs
Office: Kehoe 201
Phone: (518) 564-5402