Your college degree could be worthless if it isn't from an accredited school

Posted at 7:52 PM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 22:54:18-04

Most students are back in school.

If you're supposed to graduate this year or next, or you're looking for a school, you may be concerned about the degree you'll be getting.

In some cases, you should be!

That's especially true of some online universities and for-profit colleges.

There is a way to check them out.

A viewer recently wrote about National Valley University.

It's an online school that offers degrees from associate to doctorates.

He says he gave them $300 for an admission fee and is now asking is this a "scam."

Well, typically these are questions to ask, before sending money.

But I think asking about the legitimacy of online or for-profit schools or asking about their financial stability, is a very good idea.

Recent closings of schools like Bryman, Anthem, and ITT Tech over financial problems, have left students struggling.

Then there are diploma mills with meaningless degrees.

Last year, the Feds said high schools with names like West Madison Falls and Columbia Northern were fake and sued the Valley business behind them.

If it's a university, the question to ask is whether it's accredited with an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Without that, students can't get federal student aid, federal grants and there could be transfer of credit issues.

National Valley University says its accredited.

They list 5 accrediting agencies.

But we couldn't find any of them recognized by the government on their website.

Click hereto check out accreditation agencies and schools recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Now, if it's a physical school, with a building in Arizona, check the state's site.

Those schools must be licensed to operate here.

Click hereto check licensed Arizona schools through the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

We didn't get a response for comment from National Valley University by the time this story posted.

Some institutions can still be accredited and choose not to use a recognized agency.

But the government says it can't attest to the educational quality of programs at those schools.