If many RA graduate programs are better respected than all DETC graduate programs, then that might be an excellent reason to choose those RA programs. That's going to be very important if somebody wants a university teaching job or a job at a biotech firm. If RA bachelors programs have better acceptance by graduate programs and by some unknown percentage of employers, then young people and career-changers who are concerned about maximum future recognition of their degrees probably should pay close attention. But for somebody like Chip, who's in his 50's, already has a job, and just wants to earn a degree at this stage in his life, a DETC program might be as good a choice as RA if he likes the program. And for somebody like me, in my 60's now (eek!) who is basically interested in DL for personal interest reasons, something like Harrison Middleton might be a great choice. (Or it would be if it was less expensive and I was more in tune with its great-books approach.) Harrison Middleton wouldn't be very competitive for full-time faculty hiring (unless the candidate was exceptional in other ways) but it might work very well as a continuing-education upgrade degree for community college instructors. It's a student by student, school by school and situation by situation deal. One size does not always fit all. So that's the answer to the original question in the subject line (which I now think was rhetorical and a little trollish). It's why people sometimes choose DETC. They like some particular DETC program and think that it will work for them. It's often a well-informed and rational decision. But that's not to say that it never makes any difference or that the schools on the DETC and RA rosters are always academically equivalent. (Hey, they are all accredited, aren't they?) It isn't always the case. Nor is there any evidence that there's any evil RA conspiracy to suppress DETC. That's just dumb. If there was, then why aren't they suppressing the NY Regents schools? Instead RA schools collaborate with them and hire their graduates. It could happen with DETC too, if the DETC schools behaved a bit more like conventional universities.