Virtual Online High School

Most virtual high school classes are entirely online.

As the name suggests, a virtual high school is a school or program where students can attain their high school diploma by taking classes online. Most of these classes are entirely online, but some require learners to visit a testing center or other location to take specific tests or hand in assignments. Some of these courses are affiliated with traditional brick and mortar schools, while others are exclusively online.

If you enroll in a virtual high school, you can either take a few classes to supplement your degree at your regular high school or earn your complete high school diploma online.

Forms of Virtual High Schools

  • Public schools: These are programs that are government-funded, usually accredited, and available for free if you are a resident minor in the state or district in which it’s provided. They typically follow curricula similar to that of your state’s traditional high schools. Public online high schools have to follow strict rules to obtain funding, and due to this, they often have fewer course offerings than the other options listed.
  • Charter schools: Online charter schools have many of the same characteristics as online public schools; however, they often have many classes and may use more innovative and non-traditional teaching methods.
  • Private schools: This is one of the fastest-growing groups of virtual schools. Because they are not as regulated as the other groups, the quality and costs of private online schools can differ widely. However, they can offer many courses and typically don’t need learners to live in a specific state to enroll. There are also specialized virtual private schools available that focus on math and science and others.
  • Schools affiliated with a college or university: Because a college or university sponsors them, these virtual high schools often permit learners to receive dual high school and college credit for their classes. These programs usually offer high-quality courses, but they can be quite costly to pursue.

Who Attends Virtual High School?

National Virtual High School

Most virtual high schools are open to both teenagers and adults returning to school to earn their high school diploma.

What kind of individuals decide to take high school virtually? Many virtual high schools are open to both teenagers and adults returning to school to earn their high school diploma. Some of the individuals who enroll in virtual high school include:

  • Children who are unable to attend a traditional high school or prefer to take classes online.
  • Home-schooled learners are looking to supplement their education.
  • Adults taking classes after being out of school for many years.
  • Advanced students looking to pursue more rigorous classes than those their high school offers.
  • International students who want to pursue classes offered by the state where they hope to attend college.

From this list, it’s clear that people decide to take virtual high school for many reasons.

Bottom Line

Virtual high schools can be an excellent way for individuals who need flexible schedules to complete their high school studies. Still, there is also the risk of enrolling in a disreputable school, feeling isolated, and having to spend thousands of dollars to complete your degree.

To decide if you should attend a virtual high school, research many schools carefully and see if they fit what they are looking for. You should also think carefully about what it would be like to attend an entirely virtual school, and you may want to consider consultations first before you resolve to earn your high school diploma online.

References and Resources