Before the Accrediting Commission will officially accept an institution's initial Application for Accreditation, the institution must demonstrate it fully meets the eligibility criteria in the HLC Accreditation Handbook. In brief, the criteria entail the following:

  • Each program offered by the institution is predominantly distance education or correspondence education or more.

  • The institution must be properly licensed, authorized, exempted or approved by the applicable state educational institutional authority (or its equivalent for non-U.S. institutions).

  • At the time of initial application, the institution must have been enrolling students in current programs for two consecutive years under the present ownership.

  • There is evidence via audited or reviewed financial statements that the institution is financially sound.

  • The name being used by the institution is free from any association with any activity that could damage the reputation of the Accrediting Commission.

  • The institution, its owners, governing board members, officials and administrators possess sound reputations and demonstrate a record of integrity and ethical conduct.

  • The institution agrees that as part of the application process, the owners, officers and managers may be subject to a background check by HLC.