Prospective distance education students are faced with a bewildering number of choices in selecting an institution that is best suited to achieving their educational goals. They also face a confusing forest of institutions' promotional claims of being the best or most respected school. This primer is intended to help the prospective student of an online or distance education school or college sort out the confusing claims made about accreditation and about different accrediting agencies. This guide will help dispel some common myths, and will help provide students with a basic understanding of what the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) accreditation is and how it can help them make a good choice of where to study. In their quest for information on online institutions, would-be students often consult a number of sources, primarily from Web site searches. These searches may produce equally bewildering, and at times, unreliable and inaccurate information.