About Higher Learning Commission Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission is one of six regional associations that provide accreditation for institutions of higher learning in the United States. HLC accreditation provides assurance to the public that an institution has been found to meet stated requirements and criteria. The accreditation process provides public certification of acceptable institutional quality and an opportunity for critical self-analysis, quality improvement, evaluation, and consultation from other higher education professionals. Regional accreditation is required for institutions to receive Title IV funding (financial aid for students) and to ensure that our coursework and degrees are accepted by other institutions of higher learning and employers.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation of institutions of higher education is an evaluation and certification process that establishes whether a college or university meets formal official requirements for quality. There are six nationally-recognized regional associations that conduct reviews of schools and colleges.

What is the purpose of accreditation?

Accreditation by a nationally-recognized regional accrediting body is a sign to the public that a university meets national standards of quality, and that there are reasonable grounds for believing that it will continue to meet them. Accreditation has serious implications for colleges and universities, as quality assurance by a federally-recognized body is a requirement for an institution to receive and manage federal financial aid funds. It also requires a commitment to a process of evaluation and improvement, and therefore provides the University with an opportunity for a candid review of its entire institution, an opportunity to review and improve every aspect of its educational mission and financial operations.

What is the current status of UNM’s accreditation?

The University of New Mexico has been continuously accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association since 1922. The HLC accreditation covers all of UNM’s campuses and programs. The institution’s last comprehensive review occurred in March 2019, and resulted in the reaffirmation of accreditation. The next comprehensive evaluation will take place during the 2028-29 academic year.

More information about the HLC can be accessed on the Commission’s website.