Get Your High School Diploma Online

A high school education is vital today. High school allows students to study a variety of subjects. It prepares them for real world scenarios later in life.

The information learned in high school also provides students with basic skills necessary in life, such as mathematics or the ability to speak another language. However, the traditional experience of attending a high school in person is not possible for everyone.

Even when attending high school in person is possible, it may not be practical or desirable. For example, if you are an adult who never completed high school, attending in person is not usually an option. If you are a parent of a teenager who does not interact well with peers, you may also need to seek an alternative. That alternative is getting a high school diploma online. Below are important facts about attending online high school, such as the benefits of doing so and how much doing so and information about popular online high school programs.

What is Online High School? 

Online high school is similar to in-person high school. The difference is teenagers or adults can take high school courses from any location with internet access. It is similar in a way to home schooling. However, rather than parents teaching their children, classes are still provided by teachers. Some online high schools are entirely online. Others are offered as alternative courses by traditional educational institutions. 

What Types of Online High Schools Are Available?

When selecting a type of online high school to attend or for your child to attend, you have several options. Online high schools are run by different organizations and using varied structures. They also fall in different categories, which can affect the courses offered and costs, among other aspects of the online learning experience. Those categories are outlined below:

  • Online public high schools are operated by traditional public school systems. That means they are government funded and regulated. Therefore, students must meet government graduation standards. Many states current offer online public high school as an alternative to in-person attendance, including North Carolina. Students must usually reside in the states offering public online high school to attend.

  • Online private schools are tuition based. They do not usually have rules regarding residency status. However, some such schools do have other requirements, especially if they are specialty high schools. For example, certain online private schools cater to specific religious groups.

  • Online charter schools are federally or state funded. However, they are independently operated. Therefore, they establish many of their own teaching methodologies and course options.

Why Are More Online High School Options Being Offered?

Many online high school opportunities have popped up in recent years. One issue that triggered an increase in online high school offerings and attendance was the COVID-19 outbreak and the medical concerns it created. However, online high schools are also offered by various institutions for other practical reasons. Among them are:

  • Avoiding Scheduling Conflicts

  • Compensating for Traditional Schools That Are Too Small to Accommodate Local Populations

  • Offering Convenient Advanced Placement Courses for Gifted Students

  • Minimizing Expenses

What Can You Expect From an Online High School Curriculum?

What you can expect from an online high school curriculum depends on the online high school you attend. Online high schools tend to provide wider selections of courses from which to pick than traditional schools. Those courses often include various levels of classes for different student needs. Certain online high schools also offer specialty courses designed to allow students to easily transition to specific college majors. 

What Are Other Benefits of Online High School for Students?

Online high schools are often more flexible than traditional high schools in a variety of ways. For example, class sizes are less important for many online high schools than for schools requiring in-person attendance. Some online high schools also allow students to complete courses at whatever speeds they desire. That can benefit busy adults who wish to get their diplomas slowly over time. It can also assist students who wish to take courses at an accelerated rate to advance their educations faster. Other potential benefits include:

  • Curriculum Flexibility

  • Avoidance of Undesirable Social Interactions, Such as Bullying

  • Catering to Specific Religious Beliefs

  • Catering to Non-Traditional Lifestyles (Students Who Live on Boats, in Wilderness Areas Etc.)

What Are Some Popular Online High School Programs?

If you want to select an online high school program, you can check for options offered by traditional schools in your area. However, the internet also offers many online high school options not provided locally. Some of the top online high school programs accept students from all over the country. Here are some of them:

  • Penn Foster is the largest online high school in the U.S. Its student body includes students in every U.S. state. Penn Foster's enrollment options cater to students with all types of needs. Students can take only courses they require to compete educations already started or enroll in multiple courses, as needed.

  • NorthStar Academy is a private Christian academy catering to students in grades four through twelve. Its student body includes students from all over the world, including several U.S. states.

  • Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) is based in New Hampshire and allows New Hampshire residents to enroll for free. Tuition-based enrollment is available for students living in other states. Instructors at VLACS work closely with students to help them expand upon their interests and reach their learning goals.

  • National High School is a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. However, its accreditation is valid throughout the country. It offers an aggressive accelerated learning path for gifted and driven high school students, as well as a standard curriculum.

  • Indiana University High School (IU) is known as one of the best online high schools for college prep in the country. Its courses are based on time limits, allowing students to work at their own paces within those time limits.

How Much Does Online High School Cost?

The cost of online high school varies widely. Public online high school is typically free to students because it is government funded. Private online high school often has a high tuition cost. Charter and university-operated online high school costs also vary widely. However, you can typically expect to pay less to attend an online high school than you would to attend a private or charter school in person due to the lower overhead costs needed to operate virtual schools.