There are several risks associated with attending a school that is not accredited. One of the major risks of pursuing a degree from a university that is not accredited is how it will affect your employment opportunities. Many employers will not hire a potential job candidate if the degree they hold was granted by a learning institution that is not accredited. Unaccredited schools and universities usually do not have the same educational standards and policies as accredited schools and employers are likely to want to hire someone with a degree from an institution that is accredited and recognized. The reason being is that employers want to feel confident in the employees that they hire and want to know that potential employees are actually qualified to do that job, and someone holding an unaccredited degree may not be the best person for the job. While for some jobs and employers it may not make a difference, most candidates are likely to be hurt by possessing a degree that came from an unaccredited university.
Attending a school that is not accredited, even if only for a short while to earn an associate degree, is likely to harm you. Taking a few classes at a learning institution that is not accredited and then deciding to transfer to another college or university may mean that you lose out on the hours and courses that you have already completed. Most colleges and universities will not accept transfer credits from a school that is not accredited, as stated on the University of Southern California, on their transfer credit and policy page. Attending a school that is accredited not only ensures to it's students that the program and courses offered are of quality, but it also ensures to other schools, should you wish to transfer, that you have completed those courses and that they held the minimal requirements for accreditation. The same applies for students that gain an associate's degree from a school that is not accredited and attempt to pursue a bachelor degree at an accredited university or students with a bachelor degree from an unaccredited school trying to get into graduate school. It is highly likely that an accredited university will not honor that associate or bachelor degree.
Another risk associated with attending and earning a degree from a learning program or school that is not accredited is that it could be a total waste of time and money. If you aren't able to transfer out to another university, taking classes at a unaccredited university is an obvious waste of time and money. At the same time, if you have a hard time finding a job after you graduate and earn a degree from an unaccredited university, that was also a waste of time and money. While you may be able to get hired with some companies and employers, it may be unlikely that higher level occupations and those that pay higher salaries will be available to those with an unaccredited degree. And while some students may choose to attend an unaccredited university because they have lower tuition rates and offer accelerated and faster degree programs, they can hurt you more in the long run when it comes to transferring universities, getting into graduate school, and finding good jobs.