A-Z Index

Why Are Universities Accredited?

Top 3 Most Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is HLC accreditation important?

The Higher Learning Commission accredits colleges and universities that meet certain standards. Accreditation assures that an institution is properly able to do its job. Also, the HLC acts as a monitoring institution for federal funds in higher education, including student financial aid.

2. What does HLC look for when it accredits colleges and universities?

HLC has just adopted a set of criteria for evaluation that can be found at: The five criteria areas are: Mission; Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct; Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support; Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement; and Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness. Components of these criteria and examples of evidence that support these components can be found at: (NW HLC Site)

3. What does the HLC site visit entail?

On-site visits occur after the peer review team has reviewed the institutional report and student survey results. The visit typically includes meetings with the institution’s leadership and board, as well as open forums with faculty, staff and students. This visit will last two days. The team will remain in the area for an additional day of deliberations after the visit.