Richard Vedder argues that it does not in this Minding the Campus essay.
The accreditation system has been largely captured by the zealots who demand that college and university officials make “diversity” their foremost concern. Several years ago I asked a senior professor at a small college for his thoughts on accreditation and he replied that his school had recently gone through a review. The report completely ignored what he termed his school’s glaring academic deficiencies but found much fault for insufficient dedication to “diversity.”
If it weren’t for the fact that it has been given the task of certifying whether a school will or will not be eligible for federal student aid money, the accreditors would have persuade schools that whatever services they render are worth the cost. I suspect that a great many schools would choose to spend their money in other ways.