Danger, Will Robinson

This is a message for anyone who thinks it might work out okay if they go to a school unaccredited by any board anyone else might recognize. Don't do it! Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Don't go over there! You'll be sorry. Listen to me.

I know, I know. You think it only matters what you know - what you can do - what you can prove by showing it to other people. Right? Seems like a good idea. Just go where they can teach you. It's all about the learning, right? Who cares where you got it?

Well, I'll tell you who cares.

Every school that IS accredited cares.

And the FAFSA people care. (Are there actually any people processing those forms? I have serious doubts on the matter. Will Robinson, meet Jeltz. And good luck with the whole "reasoning" and "logic" and "current situation" lines of conversation.)

If you get your "degree" from a place without transferable credits, it is not going to matter one little bit what you learned or how hard you worked to learn it. Not one bit. You will not be able to get into grad school - because academia cannot recognize this degree of yours. You cannot transfer in any of your work to work on a new undergrad degree. None. Your credits are not worth the paper they're printed on.

So ... it's like you don't have a degree at all, right? Wrong.

The FAFSA people think you DO have a degree. So, although you might be "qualified" for the educational loans anyone can get, you do not have access to any of the grants. The "degree" you've got disqualifies you as a person going for your first degree - because you have one already - the schools don't think you do, but you do - according to the FAFSA form. You didn't use any of the federal student money the first time around (because the places without transferable credits don't "accept" such tainted money, and it isn't offered to them), and you won't get any the next time either. Take an unaccredited degree, and that's the one you get.

So, let's review. What do you end up with if you get an unaccredited degree? You end up with no credits and no access to significant federal student aid.

Thinking of attending a college like that for your degree? Think again. And again. Keep thinking until you realize that this is going to matter to you someday. It's going to matter a lot when you decide to join the rest of the world. You'll want those credits you worked for. Trust me on this.

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