We want to answer all of your questions.

If you have a question that is not listed below, or you would like more information, please call us at 828-357-7080 or fill out the form on our contact page.

Will my student receive college credit through CreatEd Institute? Will the credits transfer to a four-year undergraduate degree program?

CreatEd Institute is currently in the process with the State of North Carolina of applying to receive the license to grant degrees and credits. Our application received preliminary acceptance in October of 2017, and we conducted our site visit in February 2018. We hope the process will be completed by the end of summer 2018.

If approved, CreatEd will award the Associate degree to students who complete our core program, and graduates will earn 60 to 68 credits, which would be eligible for transfer consideration by other educational institutions. Standard practices for transfer of credit for post-secondary education in North Carolina is governed by the UNC/NCCCS Comprehensive Articulation Agreement.

Will other universities award credit for CreatEd Institute courses?

We work with other educational institutions to make our students’ transfer process as smooth as possible. Each school differs, but generally school policies accept as much outside work for credit as possible given the following requirements:

  1. Internal quality control measures (checking for authenticity and rigor of relevant work)
  2. External constraints of state requirements and accrediting agency, if applicable

We will work directly with other schools to provide all helpful information needed for those schools to see if they can award credits for courses completed in our program. Schools that require formal matriculation agreements for non-accredited colleges will not be able to award credits for work completed in our program.

What is the difference between licensing and accreditation?

Licensing and accreditation are very different. Licensing is permission from a state agency (in this case, the University of North Carolina) to offer post-secondary degree activity (such as offering credits or degrees).

Accreditation is a separate process in which an independent, non-state accrediting agency reviews a licensed school and officially recognizes the school as maintaining standards that would qualify its graduates to gain admission to other reputable schools.

While both processes often consider some of the same standards, licensing is required for an institution to offer post-secondary degree activity, while accreditation is optional. Licensing by the state is not an endorsement by the state.

Many schools and federal programs (such as federal education financial aid, approved savings plans, etc.) rely on accrediting agencies approved by the federal Department of Education to determine eligibility status of an institution to participate in various programs (such as the 529 Savings Plan or 1098-T, with some exceptions). Neither licensing nor accreditation is a guarantee of transferability.

Why isn’t CreatEd pursuing accreditation?

Accreditation agencies have specific molds in which they expect schools to fit, often constraining development and creative models. While many people in the educational community recognize the value of our innovative approach, the accreditation agencies change slowly, and are designed for past educational models.

Additionally, cost structures of accreditation do not accommodate small schools – the cost would not scale to be very feasible for a school our size. Most states are moving toward the licensing process to allow smaller, more innovative programs to grant degrees and credits, allowing more freedom outside the formal system of accreditation.

What are the financing options to pay tuition? Is the CreatEd program tax-deductible? Can I use my 529 Savings Plan?

CreatEd Institute offers a variety of scholarships for its students. To get the details, please view our scholarships document.

CreatEd Institute does not currently accept federal or state financial aid, and is not an “eligible educational institution” as defined by the IRS for 1098-T deductions.

CreatEd Institute does not qualify as an eligible educational institution as required by most 529 plans. In this case, most plans will incur a penalty for withdrawing and using funds outside of the specified eligible institutions. Because 529 Savings Plans differ widely in accounts and structure, we recommend families contact their specific 529 Savings Plan to best understand their accessibility and usage of those funds.

To offset the cost of the program, a majority of our students work part-time in the local Black Mountain and Asheville community.

If you would like additional information regarding program finances, please contact Peter Ikeda, Director of Lead Cultivation, at [email protected] We would love to have a conversation with you to figure out a financial plan for our program.

How does the meal plan work? Do students have to be on the meal plan?

Students are housed in cottages with access to a working kitchen, including refrigerators, a microwave, oven, and stove appliances. At the request of previous cohorts, we have given students the ability to budget and prepare meals themselves by removing them from a set meal plan as they have found it to be a healthier and more cost effective plan for meals.

The YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly has a dining hall and provides meals during operating seasons for approximately $8 per meal. Students may take advantage of on-campus meal offerings at their discretion and at the operation of the YMCA dining facilities.

Please visit the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly website for additional information on on-campus dining facilities and meals.

What are the rules of CreatEd Institute regarding alcohol, attire, relationships, curfew, etc.?

For a full explanation of our community expectations, in addition to information on campus living, see pages 32-48 of our Program Handbook.

What campus safety measures are in place?

CreatEd Institute follows the emergency policies and procedures of our host, the Blue Ridge Assembly YMCA. In the event of an emergency, students and staff should always contact the YMCA Front Desk staff first and provide as much information as possible. The YMCA staff will contact the necessary personnel, including (9-1-1), and provide directions once the response units arrive to campus.

In the event of an on-campus emergency, the YMCA will utilize their built-in PA system to alert the entire campus of the situation. Night security is provided by the YMCA every night between the hours of 8pm and 5am. Both CreatEd Institute and the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly conduct criminal background checks on all employees.

The YMCA staff are trained in CPR, AED, and handling emergencies and are required to be immediately identifiable by wearing their YMCA staff uniform and ID Badge. Emergency plans are posted in the residence halls and classrooms.


YMCA Front Desk Operating Hours:
6am - 8pm (5pm during off-seasons).

YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly Front Desk Line:
(828) 669-8422

Campus Night Security Operating Hours:
8pm - 5am

Campus Security Line:
(828) 777-1728

For a comprehensive review of our safety guidelines and procedures, please see our Program Handbook.

Is housing available during holidays and college breaks?


What parking options are available?

We highly encourage students to bring a personal vehicle for recreational and work-related transportation needs. Parking is free for all students in a designated area on campus. If you plan to have a car on campus, please let us know ahead of time. A vehicle registration will be taken at check-in during orientation.