Who accredits the accreditors?

Accreditors, such as CIHE, are organizations federally recognized through the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), a bipartisan committee established under the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1992.  NACIQI recognition indicates that an accreditor can adequately determine whether an institution is of sufficient quality to qualify for federal funds for financial aid and other programs.

In addition, CIHE is recognized through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which has five standards for accreditors: (1) They are required to advance academic quality, (2) They demonstrate accountability, (3) They encourage purposeful change and needed improvement, (4) They employ appropriate and fair procedures in decision-making, and (5) They continually reassess accreditation. 

See also: Accreditation