CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has reaffirmed the University of Northern Iowa's accreditation for a 10-year period that runs through 2020. The commission's action follows a comprehensive self-study by the university and a three-day site visit by a 10-member review team last November.
Colleges and universities use an accreditation process to evaluate their educational programs for continuous quality. Once accreditation is granted, or in UNI's case, reaffirmed, it assures students and prospective students that an institution's academic programs meet nationally recognized standards. Accreditation also offers the following advantages:
- An accredited institution can apply for federal grants, loans and other federal funds, including research funds.
- Students at an accredited institution are eligible for federal (and in some instances, state) grants and loans.
- Students at an accredited institution can transfer credits to other accredited universities.
- Employers and graduate school admissions committees may look more favorably upon students who earn a degree from an accredited institution.
- Employers that offer tuition assistance are more likely to reimburse employees for courses taken at an accredited institution.
"Reaccreditation is the highest endorsement a university can receive," said UNI President Ben Allen. "I want to thank all the faculty, staff, students and community members who participated in the process. We owe this excellent news to everyone's hard work and for delivering the outstanding educational experience that makes UNI the leader it is."
Every 10 years, UNI conducts a self-study in preparation for reaccreditation by the HLC, an arm of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The university first received NCA accreditation in 1913 as a teacher training institution and has been continuously accredited as a four-year institution since 1930.
The HLC is one of six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The commission is responsible for the accreditation of colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning in the North Central region, which includes 19 states.