You are often reminded that your Kamehameha Scholars merit scholarship can only be paid to a college or university that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations accepted by Kamehameha Schools. (This also applies to the Kamehameha Schools Nā Hoʻokama a Pauahi scholarship.) But just what do we mean when we talk about “accreditation?”
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary, independent review of educational programs to determine that the education provided is of uniform and sound quality. Being awarded accreditation ensures that an institution has been evaluated and that it met set standards of quality determined by the accrediting organization granting the accreditation. A college or university’s accreditation is maintained by continued adherence to the set criteria.
Why is College Accreditation Important?
There are several reasons accreditation is important besides ensurance of quality and adherence to academic standards. Accreditation determines a school’s eligibility for participation in federal (Title IV) and state financial aid programs, as well as eligibility for employer tuition assistance. Proper accreditation is integral for the acceptance and transfer of college credit, and is a prerequisite for many graduate programs. In addition, degrees attained from a school without regional accreditation may not be as accepted for professions that require licensure (such as CPAs, physicians, pharmacists, etc.).
What are the Accrediting Organizations Accepted by Kamehameha Schools?
Kamehameha Schools scholarships are available for colleges and universities accredited by the following regional accrediting organizations:
- The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Accreditation of colleges in the middle states region (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico).
- The New England Association of Schools & Colleges.
Accreditation of colleges in the New England region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont).
- The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools/Higher Learning Commission
Accreditation of colleges in the north central region (Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming).
- The Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities.
Accreditation of colleges in the north west region (Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.)
- The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Accreditation of colleges in the southern region (Alabama , Florida , Georgia , Kentucky , Louisiana , Mississippi , North Carolina , South Carolina , Tennessee , Texas , Virginia)
- The Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Accreditation of colleges in the western region.
It is often difficult to find a school’s accreditation when visiting their Web site or viewing their catalog or other information. You can find out if the college or university you are interested in is regionally accredited by visiting the regional accrediting board Web site for their area (above) and looking up the institution name.