Regional Accreditation Compared to National Accreditation

Regionally accredited schools are usually academically oriented, and are non-profit. Nationally accredited schools, a large number of which are for-profit, typically offer vocational, career or technical programs. Within the American higher education system, critics note that national accrediting bodies (though not necessarily all nationally accredited schools) have much lower standards than regional bodies, and consider them disreputable for this reason.

Regionally accredited institutions usually do not accept transfer credits from nationally accredited schools, because they believe that nationally accredited schools have lower, sometimes much lower, academic standards than their own. There has been a lawsuit regarding the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, a national accreditor, who led six prospective students to believe that they would have no problem transferring their credits to regionally accredited school.