Graduates from online and private high school programs may face additional challenges when applying to colleges and universities. These hurdles are caused by a difference in the high schools’ level of accreditation, or the lack thereof. The most universal form is Regional Accreditation, which is accepted nationwide by colleges, universities, public high schools, and other educational institutions. All public schools are regionally accredited, and as part of their accreditation they are required to accept credits from other regionally accredited schools. The second standard is a National Accreditation, a much looser standard that isn’t always accepted. It’s important to note that while Nationally Accredited may seem like it is more valued than Regional Accreditation, it’s actually much less valuable. Regional is a much better option than National, and the regionally accredited diplomas go much further.
How Universities in Oklahoma Process Applications
There is even a difference between universities in Oklahoma based on what accreditation they will accept. Here’s what we’ve found:
Oklahoma Christian University
Admission requirements for OCU allow students to apply with any diploma, as long as it was awarded from an accredited institution. Students could use either a Regionally, or Nationally Accredited diploma, as long as the accreditation was current at the time of issuing.
Oklahoma State University
OSU accepts all diplomas from Regionally Accredited high schools, and only accepts Nationally accredited diplomas on a case-by-case basis after evaluating the high school curriculum. Diplomas from non-accredited schools aren’t accepted at all, so a student who graduated from a non-accredited school will need to complete a GED before being accepted. If a student has a Nationally Accredited diploma, their acceptance will be tied heavily to their scores on the ACT or SAT exams.
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma accepts all diplomas from Regionally Accredited high schools, but they won’t accept any diplomas from Nationally Accredited schools.
The Regional Accreditation Agencies
It’s important to check your schools accreditation status with the regional agencies. Here is a list of the 6 regional agencies and the states that they service.
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
OklahomaArkansasArizonaColoradoIowaIllinoisIndianaKansasMichiganMinnesotaMissouriNorth DakotaNebraskaNew MexicoOhioSouth DakotaWisconsinWest VirginiaWyoming
Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC)
New England Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges
ConnecticutMaineMassachusettsNew HampshireRhode Islandand Vermont
Middle States Association Secondary
DelawareMarylandNew JerseyNew YorkPennsylvaniaDistrict of Columbia
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
AlabamaFloridaGeorgiaKentuckyLouisianaMississippiNorth CarolinaSouth CarolinaTennesseeTexasVirginia
When it comes to private high schools, you want to carefully evaluate the different high school programs. Make sure to check that your private school or online high school is regionally accredited,
Bryce Bertola is the Director of Marketing at Park City Independent, a regionally accredited online high school with current students in Oklahoma, the United States, and throughout the World.
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