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Accredited Colleges

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – How do you know if a particular college is legitimate?

Trump University, an institution set up by ‘The Donald’, promised students that they would become wealthy by learning Trump’s real estate tips and strategies, taught by his handpicked instructors. It guaranteed “apprenticeship” support and even a chance to meet Trump himself.

After spending thousands of dollars, students found that they were no richer, and the chance to meet Trump turned out to be an opportunity to have a picture taken with a life-sized photo of him. Which is probably better, actually.

But how do you know if a college is legitimate?

Colleges and universities are reviewed by accrediting agencies to ensure that the education meets acceptable levels of quality. All institutions of higher ed, whether the institutions are public and private, for profit and not for profit and those that offer courses on line or in classrooms, can be accredited.

The institution must be accredited in order to be eligible to receive federal student aid.

The Department of Education keeps a list of accredited institutions so before you put down any money for training, check the accreditation status and ask if the cardboard cut out comes with the tuition.