In the United States, accreditation is handled through non-governmental agencies, many of which are recognized by the federal government as reliable authorities on the quality of education. Only institutions accredited by those agencies are authorized to participate in federal Title IV funding (student financial aid).
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) provides accreditation services for more than 2000 public and private institutions in the six state region, ranging from pre-K through university. See www.neasc.org.
Within NEASC, the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) is the regional accreditation agency for colleges and universities in the six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Visit cihe.neasc.org. The Commission is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a reliable authority on the quality of education for the institutions it accredits. The Commission is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), affirming that its Standards and processes are consistent with the quality, improvement, and accountability expectations that CHEA has established.
To learn about the accreditation status of Vermont's independent colleges, a roster is posted at cihe.neasc.org/roster of institutions.