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Neo
Major: International Business
Status: Light Keeper

A person with strange ideas in my head and strange feelings in my heart...

Application Process: Choosing the Right Institution
Andy Neo

This is one of the most difficult and, of course, important parts of the application process. Choosing some institutions which are suitable to your criteria out of over 3,500 higher education institutions of United States is definitely not a piece of cake.
You need to determine the reputation of universities in your field of interest. Ask your friends, faculty, current students, people in the industry, and if you can, recruiters. Check whether the university offers financial aid. See the total annual research budget of the university, the percentage of incoming students who are offered any form of aid, and whether aid is available for the program you are applying to (e.g. while Carnegie Mellon offers aid generously to almost all incoming students, applicants to the MSIN degree are given none). This could be an expensive mistake. Email current students, faculty and the admission office of the college about this.
Finally, look at the total cost of attendance of the course, if there is a possibility that you are not offered any financial aid. This cost includes the tuition cost and cost of living for at least one year. In most multiple years courses, you can get a job or assistanceship after your first year (or even first semester), so you needn't worry about further costs.
There are many other parameters like climate, number of international students, closeness to big city etc.
Accreditation Information
There are six regional accrediting associations in the United States whose primary purpose is the accreditation of educational institutions, including public and private schools, colleges, and universities. The six regional accrediting associations are: the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Each accrediting association is responsible for accrediting educational institutions in a particular area of the United States and, in some cases, other geographic areas.
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accredits educational institutions in the following areas: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges has two separate commissions that accredit schools: The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education and the Commission on Technical and Career Institutions. These Commissions oversee the accreditation of institutions in the following areas: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits educational institutions in the following areas: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
The Commission on Colleges of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges accredits educational institutions in the following areas: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
Southern Association of Schools and Colleges
The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits educational institutions in the following areas: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Caroline, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges authorizes two distinct commissions that accredit schools: the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. These Commissions oversee the accreditation of colleges in the following areas: American Samoa, California, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Hawaii.
Other Institutional Accrediting Agencies are Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) , Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), Distance Education and Training Council .
In addition to the six regional accrediting associations and other institutional accrediting agencies, there are many professional accrediting agencies that are responsible for accrediting specific programs. Although an educational institution may be regionally accredited by one of the institutional accrediting associations listed above, this does not guarantee that all of its programs are accredited. When applying to a specific professional program at an educational institution, it is advisable to find out in advance if the institution and program are both accredited by the appropriate accrediting agencies.

 
 

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