30 Best Online High Schools

online high school

best online high schools

Thanks to many technological advancements, nontraditional students can have a relatively traditional high school experience. Homeschooled students, foreign students or students living abroad, professional children, and students unable to attend brick-and-mortar high schools due to anxiety or other learning challenges, can attend an online high school to obtain a high school diploma on their own terms. These online high schools are often associated with some of the very best schools in the nation and offer flexible schedules, self-paced classes, and a variety of course options.

The Best Online High Schools

Best Online High Schools

Advantages School International

Advantages School International is a fully accredited online school for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Students can choose between two diplomas in any grade: a general studies diploma or a college preparatory diploma. More than 300 courses are available, including a large selection of AP college courses. Students have a lot of freedom to develop their educational plans to fit their individual goals and interests. Tuition for Advantages School International is currently $3,950 per year. Students also have the option of enrolling in a single course for $650 per semester.

Advantages School International Home Page

Ignite Christian Academy

Alpha Omega Academy

Formerly Alpha Omega Academy, Ignite Christian Academy is one of the top-ranked Christian high schools available to online students. Students may choose to pursue either the High School Diploma Track or the College Prep Track. Each requires the student to complete 21 credits from a long list of interesting classes. A few of these include:

  • American/British Literature 
  • Computer Science and Web Design
  • Art
  • Business
  • various languages
  • various American history courses

At Ignite, each student’s experience is guaranteed to be flexible and personalized to that student’s needs and circumstances. Tuition begins at $1,832. 

Ignite Christian Academy Home Page

Brigham Young University Independent Study

BYU Independent Study

Whether you’re a high school student looking for a flexible online environment or an adult needing to earn your high school diploma, Brigham Young University’s Independent Study Program has something to offer you. Students can choose from an extensive list of classes, including AP courses and even some university-level classes for those who want to start working towards college credit. Tuition varies per course but ranges from $110 to $280 for high school courses. University-level courses start at $212 per credit.

Brigham Young University Independent Study Home Page

Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences

Christa McAuliffe School of Arts and Sciences

The Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences is a top-ranked online high school offering personalized instruction and a respected industry reputation. Students may choose from two graduation tracks:

  1. A standard, 20-credit track for students to achieve their high school diploma
  2. A 24-credit college prep track which meets the requirements for entrance into a four-year college or university

Classes are all self-paced and available to students 24/7. There are multiple tuition options, ranging from $2,496 to $7,495, depending upon grade level and the number of classes. 

Crista McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences Home Page

Clonlara School

Clonlara School

While many online high schools are geared towards students who are able to work independently, Clonlara School offers courses that are fully supported by trained teachers. More than 80 classes are available at the high school level, and students are expected to take at least five courses each semester. Besides traditional classes, there are honors courses, ACT and SAT prep courses, and even career exploration courses. Students are also expected to build a portfolio of their best work, and complete a certain number of community service hours before graduation. Tuition ranges from $3,600 to $4,000 per year. 

Clonlara School Home Page

Excel High School

Excel High School

Excel is one of the best accredited online high schools. It is also one of the most affordable. Rather than traditional tuition, students pay a subscription fee of $129 per month for the duration of the semester (or $199 per month for an Honors High School Diploma). This allows students to take four core and/or elective classes per semester. About 100 high school, honors, AP, and college courses are currently available. Each is taught by a teacher holding a master’s degree or higher in the subject they teach.

Excel High School Home Page

Forest Trail Academy

Forest Trail Academy

Forest Trail Academy is a great choice of online high school for students who don’t want to spend the traditional amount of time in areas they know well. Forest Trail’s self-paced curriculum includes 50 courses. It allows students to breeze through their easier subjects while focusing more time on challenging areas. Forest Trail also works one-on-one with each student and their family to create a program that best suits the student’s needs and academic desires. The current tuition rate is $3,350/year for full-time 9th thru 12th-grade classes.

Forest Trail Academy Home Page

Franklin Virtual High School

Franklin Virtual High School

Franklin Virtual High School is a fully accredited, fully online high school. It offers students a traditional high school track, independent study, or prep classes in anticipation of the GED, ACT, and SAT. This is also an excellent option for students who need to catch up with their classes. Tuition varies and is based on a student’s choice of courses. Currently, courses range from $289 to $313, depending on whether they are a core class or an AP course.

Franklin Virtual High School Home Page

Greenways Academy

Greenways Academy

Greenways Academy has a rolling admissions system. This means students may opt to pursue their high school diploma at this top-ranked online high school whenever is most convenient for them. Students also have the option of enrolling full-time, part-time, or just a course or two. More than 100 high school-level courses are available. In each class, students have the option of one-on-one interaction with their teacher. Greenways Academy prides itself on offering personalized courses. They modify their courses to fit a student’s 504 plan or IEP. Current tuition ranges from $395 to $420 per self-paced course.

Greenways Academy Home Page

International Virtual Learning Academy


International Virtual Learning Academy is an online private school for students in kindergarten through grade 12. High school students can tailor their education from more than 350 courses. These include a number of honors, AP, and standards-based from both secular and religious perspectives. In short, International Virtual Learning Academy allows students to find exactly the education they seek. There are also adult learning and GED tracks available. Full-time, full-year tuition ranges anywhere from $2,579 to $3,779. Courses may also be purchased individually. 

International Virtual Learning Academy Home Page

James Madison High School

James Madison High School

James Madison High School is a popular choice of online high school for homeschoolers, those living abroad, adult learners, and child professionals. The high school currently offers students more than 40 courses. While there isn’t too much to choose from in terms of class selection, students do have the option of completing their courses at either a traditional or college preparatory level. An online high school degree program is $1,799 per year. Monthly payment options are also available. 

James Madison High School Home Page

K12 Private Academy

K12 Private Academy — formerly known as the K12 International Academy — seeks to bring “individualized learning to all kinds of minds” by “removing barriers that keep children from reaching their true potential.” To achieve that goal, K12 offers students an affordable curriculum of easy-to-access, self-paced classes. There are even student clubs in which K12 students from all around the world are members. Students taking a full course load of six credits pay a tuition of $6,995 per year.

K12 Private Academy Home Page

The Keystone School

The Keystone School

The Keystone School offers online high school students a range of flexible options as they pursue their diplomas. Students may enroll at any time thanks to Keystone’s rolling admissions policy. They can then choose from more than 170 courses that include everything from six languages to courses focusing on life skills, to Advanced Placement classes. Students always have access to instructors as they work through their courses at their own pace. Full-time, diploma-seeking students at the Keystone School typically take 5-6 courses per year at a cost ranging from $1,800 to $2,800, depending on the classes chosen. 

The Keystone School Home Page

Laurel Springs Schools

Laurel Springs Schools

Laurel Springs offers its students the best of both academic worlds. It’s a flexible online program that also provides one-on-one teacher/student relationships. This is partly because Laurel Springs allows students to personalize their course of study to match their individual goals and interests. This is a unique feature in an industry that is often more procedural than creative. An extensive list of electives includes everything from digital photography, forensic science, veterinary science, and the history of the Holocaust, to name a few. Over 90% percent of Laurel Springs online students are admitted to their first-choice college. To graduate, students must complete 23.5 credits. Tuition varies based on several factors, but generally runs $750 for a semester-long college prep course, $875 for an honors lab-based course of the same length, and $1,100 for a semester-long Advanced Placement course.

Laurel Springs School Home Page

Liberty University Online Academy

Liberty University Online Academy

Students interested in pursuing a uniquely Christian curriculum can enroll in Liberty University’s Online Academy. Each course is taught from a biblical perspective. However, students may choose from a variety of learning formats to best suit their needs and learning style. General Education students must complete 26 credits, while Advanced Studies students must complete 30 credits. Courses include American Literature, Creative Writing, Spanish, History of the Constitution, and many more. Tuition averages about $3,568.50 per year. 

Liberty University Online Academy Home Page

Memoria Press Online Academy

For those interested in a classical education, Memoria Press Online Academy is easily one of the best. Classes are live and include such topics as Latin, Greek, Moral Philosophy, Classical Studies, and Logic & Rhetoric, to name but a few. Students may choose to pursue their online education on a course-by-course basis or join the 28-credit High School Diploma program. The average yearly cost for a high school student at Memoria Press Online Academy is $2,500.  

Memoria Press Online Academy Home Page

Mother of Divine Grace School

Mother of Divine Grace School

Mother of Divine Grace School (MODG) is one of the few top-ranked Catholic online high schools. The school offers families many options to ensure each student is getting the experience that’s right for them. These experiences range from:

  • purchasing only MODG’s curriculum and syllabi for parent-led classes taught at home
  • a teacher review program, which includes three consultations per year
  • a teacher services program, in which instructors grade assignments and students interact with their teachers weekly or bi-weekly
  • a special services program, which is tailored to fit a student’s individual needs 

Interestingly, tuition is on a per-family basis and is based on the family’s oldest enrolled student. High school prices begin at $1,250. 

Mother of Divine Grace School Home Page

National High School

National High School

Online students have a variety of options when it comes to pursuing an education with National High School. This fully accredited, fully online high school offers students:

  • the option of enrolling full time or part-time
  • completing a single class or multiple
  • participating in a credit recovery program
  • choosing from traditional courses or Advanced Placement

Students taking two or more classes pay a monthly fee of $199.

National High School Home Page

Northstar Academy

Northstar New

Students in grades 4-12 have plenty of options when it comes to Northstar Academy. This fully online Christian school offers both structured and flexible course options, so students can find the right instruction level to suit their families. Additionally, a school year can be started at any time, providing even further flexibility. A full-year course costs $655, while a semester-long course costs $410. AP-level and dual-credit courses are also available.

Northstar Academy Home Page

Oak Meadow School

Oak Meadow School

Oak Meadow School is an online high school ideal for the imaginative student in need of a flexible program. Students can complete their required courses via Oak Meadows homeschool-specific program, or a teacher-led online program. Either way, classes are varied, fun, and self-paced. A number of unique courses are available for credit, including classes on chess, programming and web design, and more. Courses range from $1,150 to $2,200, depending on their subject and length.

Oak Meadow School Home Page

The Oaks Private School

The Oaks Private School

Through The Oaks Private School, students are able to experience a uniquely Christian education entirely online for less than traditional private education. Yearly tuition at The Oaks ranges from $1,500 to $3,550, depending upon whether the student wishes to pursue a traditional college preparatory track or an honors track, and a variety of other customizations. In either option, students have nearly 100 courses from which they may choose.

The Oaks Private School Home Page

The Ogburn School

The Ogburn School

Through The Ogburn School, students can get as close to a traditional high school experience as is possible through an online academy. The self-paced curriculum allows high school students and adult learners to choose from 45 courses, plus a senior capstone project. Uniquely, students interested in environmental studies can choose to “concentrate” on it. Otherwise, classes follow the Florida state educational standards. Tuition rates begin at $1,495 per year, depending upon courses and programs.

The Ogburn School Home Page

Pearson Online Academy

No matter what a student is looking for, it’s likely available through Pearson Online Academy, formerly known as International Connections Academy. This fully-accredited online school offers more than 200 high school-level courses. Many of these are Advanced Placement and honors. Ambitious students even have the chance to complete high school with an associate’s degree from the University of Maryland at University College. They do this by choosing from a variety of accelerated dual enrollment courses. Students enrolled at International Connections Academy even have the unique opportunity to join clubs and volunteer organizations. Current tuition rates are $6,880 per year, though an 8% discount is given to those who pay in full.

Pearson Online Academy Home Page

Penn Foster High School

Penn Foster High School

Penn Foster High School is a top-ranked choice of online school for homeschoolers and adult learners alike. Interestingly, students enrolled complete 35 core courses before choosing to follow one of six concentrations:

  • information technology
  • healthcare
  • building technology: carpentry
  • building technology electrical
  • building technology: plumbing
  • a traditional high school track with college-level courses

Regardless of track choice, Penn Foster High School is flexible and affordable. Tuition runs $899 per year for those who pay in full. While monthly payment plans are available, this does increase the total tuition cost.

Penn Foster High School Home Page

Sevenstar Academy

Sevenstar Academy

Sevenstar Academy provides Christian education to online students. It offers nearly 200, which are rigorous, Students may also opt to take honors, Advanced Placement, or dual credit courses as well. Students are also required to complete at least 40 community service hours per year. This is part of Sevenstar’s overall curriculum that aims to teach students to “think critically in the context of a Biblical worldview.” Tuition is charged by course, and ranges from $465 for a half-credit course to $755 for a one-credit AP course.

Sevenstar Academy Home Page

Stanford University Online High School 

Stanford University is consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the world, so it makes perfect sense that Stanford’s online school would be an incredibly appealing option for high schoolers. Students must be accepted into the Stanford University Online High School, and admissions are tough. If admitted, students complete a rigorous college-prep program that includes nearly 30 AP- and college-level courses. Impressively, 65% of the faculty hold doctoral degrees in their field of specialty. Full-time tuition is $25,670 per year, while part-time and single-class options cost $15,400 and $5,130, respectively. 

Stanford University Online High School Home Page

TTU K-12

Texas Tech University Independent School District

Students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12 can attend school via the fully online TTU K-12. High school students have more than 100 classes to choose from. They can enroll full-time to seek a diploma or take a single course to supplement a homeschooling curriculum. Students also have the option of receiving credit for the things they already know, which accelerates their program. Each online course costs $250 (or $450 for international students). 

TTU K-12 Home Page

University of Nebraska High School

University of Nebraska High School

University of Nebraska High School’s mission statement says its aim is to “create opportunities for students everywhere to develop skills, attitudes, and knowledge that will enable them to be thoughtful, committed, and successful people in whatever calling they choose.” The school offers a long list of classes, along with an excellent reputation for providing an individualized approach to learning. More than 100 online courses are available to students, including a number of Advanced Placement classes. Students can also take classes in psychology, sociology, and politics as part of a dual-enrollment program with the University of Nebraska. Average tuition runs $200 per class for Nebraska residents and $250 per class for non-residents.

University of Nebraska High School Home Page

Whitmore School

Whitmore School

Whitmore School’s parent institution, CompuHigh, has been offering flexible education since 1994. It has the unique distinction of being the world’s first online high school. Students can choose from an 18-credit General Studies Track or a 22-credit College Prep Track. Either way, students can choose between a wide variety of self-paced courses and can complete up to six credits per year. Whitmore’s classes are available 24/7, so students on any schedule can complete their work when it’s convenient. A full year of classes for a degree-seeking student costs $1,599, though there are discounts for siblings and those who pay in full. 

Whitmore School Home Page

Wilostar 3D Interactive Academy

Wilostar 3D Interactive Academy

Wilostar 3D Interactive Academy is a favorite online high school among homeschooling families due to its use of 3D classrooms. Students feel as if they’re in an actual classroom setting. Because of Wilostar’s unique set-up, students must attend class online at the required time, where they are taught by qualified teachers and participate in class discussions. Classes are twice a week. The long list of courses includes foreign languages, creative writing, 3D geography, technology, art, and health, among many more. Annual tuition is $3,950, and a payment plan is available.

Wilostar 3D Interactive Academy Home Page

The 30 Best Online High Schools: Methodology

With more than a hundred online schools offering high school curriculums, how do you know which ones are the best? Best Choice Schools sifted through the pack to find the 30 top online high schools for 2021-2022.

Though there are certainly more than 30 online high schools worth enrolling in, we narrowed our list down based upon the following factors:

1. Accreditation

All of the online high schools on our list are accredited via one or more accrediting bodies.

2. Affordability

Though the tuition rates of our listed online high schools vary dramatically, each school has a comparable affordable rate when considered course by course.

3. Number of Courses Available

Each of these online high schools offers multiple courses that a student can choose from.  Course options include traditional classes, honors classes, and Advanced Placement classes.

4. Variety of Degree Programs

Not every online high school student has the same goals, so we included schools that offer a variety of degree programs or tracks. These might include accelerated programs, dual enrollment, honors diplomas, and general diplomas.

5. Reputation

Finally, we took into account the academic reputation of these online high schools school from the perspective of both the industry and college admissions counselors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Best Online High Schools?

If you’re interested in learning whether an online high school is the right choice for you, we’ve put together a brief guide to help you with your decision. We’ll discuss what to expect when enrolling in an online how school and some benefits and the drawbacks of taking high school classes virtually. 

Online High Schools

What Is Online High School?

Since the beginning of 2020, very few students do not know what online learning looks like. Due to the COVID pandemic, millions of schools were forced to adapt to remote learning. As a result, some students excelled in a virtual learning environment, while others struggled with the remote format. However, online high schools have been around long before the coronavirus, and they can differ quite a bit from the type of remote learning that has taken place over the past two years.

For starters, previously-established online high schools have been created explicitly for remote learners, so they are already a step ahead of the game in that regard. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, teachers had to adapt to new systems quickly, and many schools were not equipped for teaching remotely. Because of this, many students have been turned off to online high school altogether, and of course, there are also those who enjoyed it immensely.

Either way, a pre-established online high school is likely to be a much different experience than the type of learning that school districts hastily put together during the 2020-2021 school years. This is because the full-time faculty and administration of online high schools have developed methods and curricula specific to online learning, and they have perfected their online learning platforms with efficiency. 

As the name suggests, an online high school is a separate learning institution where students take their classes remotely to earn a diploma. The majority of the classes are exclusively online, although students may be required to visit in person for specific tests, quizzes, and assignments. 

Are Online High Schools Public or Private?

Some remote high schools are affiliated with a specific brick-and-mortar school, while others are not. There are three basic types of online high schools:

1. Online Public High Schools

Online public high schools are usually accredited and government-funded, and they are typically free for students residing in the state where the program is offered. In addition, they generally follow the same curriculum as all other high schools in the state, so they operate under the same guidelines. While online public schools sometimes offer less choice in classes, they can be an attractive option for those who cannot afford a private high school online.

2. Online Private High Schools

The best online private schools vary considerably in cost and quality. Usually, you can enroll in an online private school no matter where you live, and there are often more choices when it comes to classes. Some schools are affiliated with religious groups—Catholic, Christian, or Jewish high schools, for example.

Related: Are There Any Online Christian Universities?

Some private online high schools specialize in a particular area, such as science, math, music, and other subjects. And some are university-sponsored, allowing students to get college credit for some of the classes they take. These schools can be especially attractive to students on a college prep diploma path.

See Also: Can You Start College While You’re Still in High School?

3. Online Charter High Schools

Online charter schools are public schools that are typically cost-free and open to all students. However, they are regulated by an independent board instead of the district school board. The rules and standards they set are called a “charter .”The appeal of most online charter schools is that they employ nontraditional or innovative teaching methods that may resonate with certain types of students.  

Best 30 Online High Schools

Can Anyone Attend Online High School?

While most people attending high school online are teenagers who opt for remote learning over in-person school, other people seek out an online education too. They may include:

  • Adults who did not graduate and want to attend an online school to earn their high school diploma
  • International students who wish to get into a specific university by taking classes at the high school associated with that college 
  • Home-schooled students who need additional instruction in specific subjects or who need to earn their high school diploma
  • High school students who want to earn college credit or take more advanced classes than those offered at their local high school 

People choose online high school programs for a variety of reasons. Next, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of enrolling in a virtual high school.

The Advantages of Virtual High Schools

There are many benefits to attending an online school, and while all of these pros may not apply to every virtual school, most share some common advantages.


Many high school students who opt for an online school experience want or need a highly flexible schedule. Some are juggling work, school, and family responsibilities, while others have health problems or other issues that keep them from attending in-person school consistently. For students who travel frequently, remote high school is more convenient. And many students simply like the freedom that comes with being in control of their own schedules. 

For many students, the traditional classroom experience is too slow, and they want to skip ahead and earn a high school diploma sooner. Others may feel rushed and overstimulated on campus and wish to complete their assignments at a slower pace. In all of the above cases, the flexible schedules afforded by most online high schools are usually the number one reason people choose them. 

See Also: Does a College Give Academic Credit for AP/IB High School Courses?

Quiet and Peaceful Environment

Many people do not enjoy crowds, loud noises, large spaces, or overstimulation, and a typical American high school has all of these distractions and more. Students may have trouble learning when others are around, or they may have attention issues or social phobias that prevent them from absorbing the materials as well as they could. Other students simply prefer being alone in a quiet space. An online high school education can be as serene and comfortable as you need it to be.

When you attend a distance learning school, you can work in a quiet, undistracted environment. You don’t have to worry about your choice of clothing, peer pressure, or whether you are popular or not. Instead, you can focus all your attention on learning and doing well in your academics. Without all the stimulation, many students can complete their assignments in record time, leaving the rest of the day to pursue other interests. 

More Classes

Since virtual schools are not constrained on space, they can often offer many more classes than a traditional school without enough classrooms or instructors. Therefore, students looking to take a specific class, like an AP or advanced course, may have a better chance to do so at a virtual high school.

Additionally, many online high schools have specializations to choose from or will allow students to tailor their coursework around practical subjects they find more interesting. This is one reason home-schooled students are often enrolled part-time in online schools. They can learn about subjects their parents or instructors are not well-versed in, such as advanced science, writing, or math. This allows them to excel even while remaining home-schooled. 

Not Location-Specific

One of the most appealing parts of online school is that students are not tied to a specific location. For example, if they go on vacation with their families, they can still attend classes and complete their assignments remotely.

Additionally, instead of sitting in a classroom, students can do their work wherever it is comfortable for them. So whether they want to study in their pajamas in the living room or sit by the pool all day, they can have a change of scenery whenever they like.

Be online high schools

The Disadvantages of Online High School

For all of the benefits of online high school, we would be remiss if we didn’t discuss the cons as well. While not all of these drawbacks will apply in every situation, students considering an online high school should at least be aware of them. 

The Cost

If you can’t or don’t want to attend a free online public high school, you could be looking at thousands of dollars a year to attend a private high school online. Many families simply cannot afford the added expense.

Of course, there are some ways around this. One is to look at your state’s department of education website to find a list of any government-funded online school programs. You might be surprised to find something you were not aware previously aware of. And not every private online school is costly, so be sure to shop around. Additionally, while it’s rare, there may be some scholarships and financial aid available from private organizations.

Related: Do Online Schools Have Different Tuition Rates for Residents and Non-Residents? 

Might Not Be Legit

Not every online school is what it’s cracked up to be, and as you are searching for the right one, you’re sure to find some that are outright scams. Remember, make sure that the online school you are considering is accredited. This means they meet a certain standard of education. This is a detail you won’t want to overlook. If you dont attend an accredited school, many colleges won’t accept your diploma. 

Look for schools where the accrediting body is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. examples include organizations like the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). If the school is private, be sure to search the site for Private School Accreditation. You can also find a list of accredited online high schools at Accredited Schools Online.

You can also find a list of accredited high schools online at your state or local Department of Education.

Even if a school is legit, you’ll also want to ensure you will get a quality education, especially if you plan to pursue a college degree when you graduate. It will do you little good if the school does not offer the classes you need to get into college. 

Lack of Socialization

Typically, students who want to attend a remote high school are not looking for more socialization. In fact, they are often looking for less. But online schooling can be a potential pitfall for those who thrive on social interactions. In a remote high school, you dont have other students near you all the time. For example, you are not attending events or eating in the cafeteria together. Yet, these are the most important parts of high school for some people. Online high school graduates often remark that the social aspect of in-person school was what they missed the most.

If you miss out on prom, sports, and other things that are the norm with a traditional high school education will you regret it? Not having these might make you feel like you’re missing out, and in some cases, the isolation of virtual schooling can lead to depression and withdrawal. 

One possible solution to this problem is to make sure your online high school program offers opportunities to interact with other students online. Whether it’s a forum, chat room, social media pages, or in-person meetups, try to participate in something that connects you with others. Additionally, take advantage of groups or clubs in your community so you can get out of the house and be exposed to other things. 

Requires More Self-Discipline

You won’t have your teacher breathing down your neck when you aren’t paying attention in a virtual high school. Likewise, no bells are going off telling you which class to go to next. In short, even though you can go at your own pace, you have to be self-motivated if you want to succeed. This is the case even with the best online high schools.

Students enrolled in online high school programs need to develop personal responsibility and will need to be motivated to ensure they are finishing all the schoolwork they need to graduate. If you don’t stay on top of it, you can quickly get behind and find your grades slipping. In addition, if you are not normally a self-starter, you may struggle to complete assignments, and you’ll need to adjust to the change. 

One way to ensure you stay disciplined is to create a schedule for yourself and stick with it. Good online high schools provide lots of interaction with teachers and other faculty members who can help you stay on track. Remember, the whole point of going to a virtual high school is to pursue an online high school diploma.

See Also: Can I Go to College If My High School GPA is Low?

The top Online High Schools

Should You Enroll in an Online High School?

Even when you have a list of the best online high schools, how do you know whether attending one is the right decision for you? Everyone’s answer will be different, of course, but you should ask yourself a few questions before making a final decision.

Why Do You Want To Go to an Online High School?

What is your motivation for earning an online high school diploma? Do you need a flexible schedule so you can work? Are you trying to finish school and get to college earlier? Do you want more challenging classes than what your current school offers? Is on-campus school too overwhelming for you? Whatever your reason for switching to remote learning, knowing your “why” can help when it comes time to make a decision. 

See Also: How Do I Know if Online Learning is a Good Fit for Me?

Do You Feel You Would Genuinely Prefer Attending Online High School?

Many teenagers think about online high schools and have the impression that they can just do classes from bed in their pajamas. And while you certainly can do that, it gets old quickly. A day or two like that might be fine. But weeks of no structure can take their toll. Plus, some students need social interaction and contact with fellow students to feel happy at school. Will an online school provide these things for you? Do you enjoy being alone? Can you concentrate better in a quiet room, or does the hustle and bustle of the classroom help fuel your problem-solving skills?

If you want to try online school before making your choice, you could sign up for an online class or two at no charge. Many places offer free courses online, also called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course). There are thousands of MOOCs available from a variety of platforms. It’s a great way to find out if online high school is for you or not. 

How to Research Potential Online High Schools

finding the best online high schools

Perhaps the most critical step to take when looking for the best online high schools is to do some thorough research. There are more online schools than ever these days, so you have plenty of options. To get started, check out your home state’s Department of Education. Ask around for the best online high schools. You should also check out any online reviews for the schools you are interested in. As you look over each school, think about the following:

  • What is the cost?
  • What are the types of classes offered?
  • Are the classes synchronous or asynchronous (do all students meet online at a specific time, or can you complete your work whenever you like)
  • How many hours per day will you need to attend?
  • What is the grading system?
  • Is the school accredited?
  • How much interaction will you have with your teachers and other classmates?
  • Where will your high school diploma come from?
  • Is this the best online high school for me?

Related: Studying Online: What are Some Tips for Success?

What Do You Need for Attending High School Online?

Online high schools 2021

The great part about attending online high school is that you need very little in the way of supplies. All you really need in terms of equipment is a laptop or computer and internet access. To avoid frustration, you’ll want the best device and internet service you can afford.

Can’t I Just Use My Smartphone?

While each school is different, it can be difficult to access a school’s interface and assignments using only a cell phone. Some schools won’t let you use them for classes at all. Besides that, the strain on your eyes would undoubtedly start causing issues within a short time. While some of the best online high schools have apps, you should not rely on them for your everyday assignments.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Remote Learning?

how to find online high schools

Students who want to earn a high school diploma online will need to go above and beyond when it comes to personal responsibility. Those who are successful at online school are natural self-starters who are disciplined, motivated, and mature.

When you are the only one in control of your schedule with an online high school program, it’s easy to lose track and get behind When you can go at your own pace, it’s hard to maintain momentum. Therefore, self-discipline, good time management, and organizational skills are imperative. 

Online students should also be good readers, excellent researchers, and have a decent grasp of computers and technology. Without these skills, even the best online high schools can be a frustrating and fruitless experience. 

Finally, in addition to academic discipline, high-school students who succeed in earning a diploma online are disciplined in their personal lives as well. For example, they know that staying up all night and eating junk food will likely impact their academic performance, so they make it a point to get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and eat healthy meals and snacks. These students also know that exercise and relaxation are also important to their success, and they strive to fit these things into their daily schedules. 

Closing Thoughts

Online high schools can be an excellent way for nontraditional students to complete their studies, and our list of the 30 best online high schools 2021 can help you get started. However, before you decide to complete high school online, make sure you research your preferred online school carefully, just as you would if you were going to attend college. The best online high school programs are affordable, accredited, and will meet your needs for a high-quality education. 

This concludes our list of the 30 best online high schools 2021.