Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation Warns of Questionable Marketing Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Commission on Massage Therapy accreditation (COMTA) is warning schools and programs to be wary of “accrediting agencies” which are not USDE-recognized, and who are promising enticing, sometimes misleading, opportunities for schools to access student financial aid, according to John R. Goss, III, Interim Executive Director of COMTA.

“With the demise of Sally Mae, student access to federal financial aid has become increasingly important to schools as it may be the only way students can meet tuition payments. Schools are scrambling for money.  This dramatic change in the financial aid environment is leading to the rise of ‘accrediting agencies’ which are not USDE-recognized and may be confusing and cause unnecessary additional expenses to schools unfamiliar with the accreditation process,” Goss said.

Goss further stated, “Institutional accreditation from a USDE-recognized accreditor is the surest path to begin to access Title IV funds. It’s only the first step; however, it is the best step. Accreditation in any other form is of no immediate value to an educational institution. Only USDE-recognized accreditors can offer this path to Title IV funds – not ‘accreditors’ who anticipate recognition by USDE. COMTA is the only USDE-recognized massage/bodywork-specific accrediting body offering both institutional and specialized accreditation; and schools and programs should be very careful and mindful in their quest for Title IV funds. An institutional accreditor may offer accreditation to the school but not necessarily to the program.”

For further information on accreditation or accessing Title IV funds, please  contact, or call 202.895.1518.

Established in 1982, the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) accredits educational institutions and programs offering instruction in massage and bodywork. There are approximately 100 COMTA accredited schools and programs in the United States, Canada and the West Indies. The nonprofit organization is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information about COMTA, visit