In the next step of a long process, the Department of Education (ED) ended the federal recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). If this decision ultimately stands, affected institutions will need to obtain approval from another accreditor, or lose their eligibility to participate in the Title IV aid programs.
The saga is far from over, however, as ACICS is expected to appeal the decision. It has 10 calendar days to inform ED of its intent to appeal, and then another 20 days to file the appeal. If ED denies the appeal, schools with ACICS accreditation will have 18 months to obtain approval from a different recognized accreditor in order to maintain institutional Title IV eligibility. In the meantime, schools accredited by ACICS may seek alternative accreditation or possibly decide to close, even before any appeal is decided.
ED addresses frequently asked questions from students in its blog posting “What College Accreditation Changes Mean for Students.”
Publication Date: 9/23/2016