Many Caribbean universities' standard of education, accreditation and degree programs are on par with American universities, making attending college in the Caribbean a valid option for U.S. students. The allure of island living, with ocean breezes and crystal blue water within reach, and low tuition fees are also a draw for Caribbean universities.

U.S Accredited Universities

Accreditation by an independent association is the hallmark of the U.S. higher education system. A few universities in the Caribbean strive towards that standard and are accredited and affiliated with U.S. institutions. Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth, all of the schools belonging to the University of Puerto Rico system (upr.edu) and Inter American University of Puerto Rico system (aupr.edu) plus many of the private colleges are equivalent to an American university. The U.S. territory of the Virgin Islands is home to the fully accredited University of the Virgin Islands (uvi.edu). The University of the Southern Caribbean (usc.edu.tt) and Northern Caribbean University (ncu.edu.jm) are accredited in the U.S. and award bachelor's degrees through affiliation with Andrews University in Michigan (andrews.edu).

Foreign Recognized Universities

Because many of the Caribbean islands are or were overseas territories of European countries, some universities are accredited by the ministry of education in foreign countries. These degrees would be the same as if you graduated from a university in Europe. University of the Netherland Antilles (una.net) and University of the Dutch Caribbean in Curacao (udc.an) awards Dutch bachelor's degrees. Many programs at schools belonging to the University of the West Indies system (uwi.edu) are recognized in Britain.

Accredited Medical Schools

Intense competition and high tuition rates can be avoided by attending one of the many medical schools in the Caribbean. Medical school tuition in the U.S. can range from $40,000 to $60,000 per year while schools in the Caribbean can cost as little as $10,000. Graduates of Caribbean medical schools sit for qualification exams and apply for certification with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates which evaluates the graduates readiness for a residency program. Medical school accreditation is carried out by the Foundation for International Medical Education and Research. There are accredited medical schools on almost every Caribbean island including the American Universities in Antigua, Sint Maarten, St. Lucia, St, Kitts and Nevis (auamed.org), the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago (uwi.edu), Xavier University in Aruba (edu.xusom.nl) , St. James University in Anguilla and Bonaire (sjsm.org) and Saba University in Saba (saba.edu).

Nonaccredited Universities

Of the many universities and higher education institutions around the Caribbean, the majority are either self-evaluated or in the process of applying for accreditation. Many schools like University College of the Cayman Islands (ucci.edu.ky) and University of St. Martin (usmonline.net) have partnerships with accredited schools and American schools for certain courses and programs but they are not able to award degrees recognized in the U.S. Universities and colleges without accreditation are present on almost every Caribbean island of significant size and population.