Accreditation is a means of self-regulation and peer review adopted by the educational community. The accrediting process is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of higher education, making it worthy of public confidence. The extent to which each educational institution accepts and fulfills the responsibilities inherent in this process is a measure of its concern for freedom and quality in higher education and of its commitment to strive for and achieve excellence in its endeavors.
Accreditation is a voluntary process. Institutions choose to apply for accredited status. Once accredited, they agree to abide by the standards of their accrediting organization and to regulate themselves by taking responsibility for their own improvement. In addition, the federal government requires that an institution be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization in order for its students to be eligible to participate in the Student Assistance Programs in Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended (HEA).