That's the critical factor. Which is another reason why their position is so significant in this matter. Besides, they have the power over that aid so what they say absolutely carries weight for that reason alone. Regardless of that, the Department never instituted a hierarchy and that was a fact long before DeVos was ever in the picture. So whether they put out that announcement or not, their way of operating with accreditors never changed, it's only a new piece of information for the general public because they weren't aware of that. Which is what the final paragraph of my previous post addressed. The point however remains that the hierarchy is false and based on misconceptions, blanket statements, and snap conclusions by people who don't fully or even partially understand what they're speaking to, not official positions by the Department of Education or any other respected educational organization for that matter. While not every organization has made changes based on the Department's statement, there are quite a few that have. I wish that were true, but in my experience I have rarely run into registrars, screeners, or others in education and other fields that had a real understanding of these systems, what they are, and why. Many are simply following SOPs, and many others are following their misconceptions. Misunderstanding is rampant, as is doing what someone above them told them to do, not doing it because they understand why. Over the years at this very site we've had people bring up situations a number of times where some official or organization had some rule against some kind of school or a school with a certain accreditation designation, someone challenged it and not only got it overturned but also learned along the way that the people who put it in place didn't even understand what they were doing with it, but since other organizations were doing it they did it, too. That isn't any kind of breaking news, it's something we've discussed many times, and something I've seen myself more times than I can count.