With an increase in the demand for online education, new online schools have been popping up everywhere. Some of these schools have gone through a rigorous process of accreditation, reviewing their policies, procedures, and operations. Unfortunately, many others are simply diploma mills looking to take your hard earned money and give you nothing in return. Accreditation is the best way to pick out the highest quality schools and prevent yourself from getting scammed. But what if you find a really great online high school that offers great classes, but it isn’t accredited? Is it really that bad to take classes at an unaccredited school?
In short, yes. The first reason taking classes from a non-accredited school is bad is that you likely won’t get a good education. For a school to not be accredited, it either didn’t put in the effort to attempt accreditation (a bad sign, considering how important it is), or it failed the accreditation process because it didn’t meet certain education standards. Simply put, this means that you will be taking classes from a school that hasn’t been found to provide a quality education. Any person can set up a website and claim to run an online high school. Some online high schools will give you a “diploma” as long as you pay their fee and take a short multiple choice exam. While that’s an extreme case (and that company was eventually shut down), there are many other non-accredited programs that claim to offer you a high school education but don’t deliver.
While getting a high school diploma so easily may seem nice, if you don’t learn much before getting it, you likely won’t be prepared for whatever the reason you’re attempting to finish high school, whether that’s college classes or a more advanced job. That can lead to you feeling confused and overwhelmed, and you may end up dropping out of school or quitting your job because you didn’t have the knowledge you needed to do well.
Another important reason to not take classes from a non-accredited school is because most other schools and people won’t accept the classes you took. This means that, if you took classes at a non-accredited online school, they probably won’t transfer to your regular high school, and if you receive a diploma from a non-accredited high school, most colleges and employers won’t accept it. Colleges want students from accredited high schools because it increases the likelihood that they received a rigorous education and are prepared for college classes.
For almost all jobs and colleges, having a diploma from a non-accredited high school is just about the same as not having a high school diploma at all. Taking classes at a non-accredited online high school can leave you with a poor education and an expensive piece of paper that likely don’t help you further your education or career.