What You Need to Know Before Applying for a High School

The high school application process can be overwhelming for anyone. The sheer number of schools, requirements and deadlines can make the whole ordeal seem impossible to navigate. But with a little planning and research, you’ll find that it’s not so bad after all.

Here are some things to remember before starting your journey through the maze of high school applications:

Understand the Difference between Public and Private High Schools

For starters, you need to understand that there are two types of high schools: public and private. Public high schools are funded by the government and they generally cost less money to attend.

Private high schools are typically run by a different organization than the government, such as a religious institution or university. These schools can be much more expensive and usually require or highly encourage application essays.

The type of high school you apply to depends on what you are looking for in a high school experience, your academic goals, and your financial means.

5 Benefits of Private Online School

Deciding whether to send your child to a virtual or traditional school might be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. For many parents, the biggest argument for private online schools is the amount of time and money they save.

In addition to saving you both from hours in traffic jams and wasted gas, private online schools offer multiple benefits that simply cannot be matched by traditional schools.

Let’s take a look at five of the most common benefits associated with online private high schools:

  • Private virtual school students graduate much faster than those attending public or private brick-and-mortar schools.
  • You can track your child’s progress in school, which is a huge benefit for parents who might be concerned about their children’s performance.
  • Private virtual schools offer the flexibility of home education with the socialization benefits of attending public or private high schools.
  • Private online schools are generally much less expensive than traditional brick-and-mortar schools.
  • Your child will learn just as much from a private virtual school as they would from public or private high schools.

As you can see, there are numerous benefits associated with online schools, both public and private, but it is your responsibility to ensure that your child receives the best education possible. If you are currently looking for a private online school, your best option is to contact a private virtual school consultant. A professional like this can help you determine which online schools are right for your child and provide the necessary help getting him or her enrolled.

One of the biggest arguments against choosing an online high school is the stigma associated with home education. While it’s true that in the past, many home-schooled children had difficulty assimilating into social situations, this is no longer the case with private online schools.

If you are interested in attending an online high school or your child has already decided to attend one, do not hesitate to contact a qualified virtual educational consultant who can help guide you through the application process and provide the tools necessary for a successful transition.

Research the School’s Curriculum to Find Out if it is a Good Fit for You

While completing the entire application process may feel like a lot of hard work – it does pay off. After all, when you attend high school, you will spend half of your day in class so picking a high school is an important decision.
Choosing the best high school for your child
You want to make sure that your high school has a curriculum that aligns with your personal goals and interests. If you are not sure what courses will be offered at the schools you are considering, ask your school counselor for information that lists the college prep classes taken by graduating students.

In addition, check out online portfolio sites to see examples of student work and speak with teachers who have taught specific classes. It’s also a good idea to meet with current students to get a feel for the student culture.

Consider whether or not you want your child to attend an academically rigorous school, or one that focuses on extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, etc.

Ask yourself: What is Your Child’s Favorite Activity?

Are your children more drawn to the sciences? Do you want them to attend a military high school or one that emphasizes arts and culture?

In today’s competitive academic environment, colleges are looking for students who have excelled in specific subjects and taken challenging college prep courses. As a general rule, it is a good idea to apply to high schools that have rigorous college prep courses and that follow the same criteria as your state’s junior and senior year curriculum.

To help you choose a school, ask yourself: Does this high school offer courses in the subjects my son/daughter wants to learn? Have students who graduate from this school been accepted into the schools they have applied to?

Learn About the School’s Graduation, Attendance, and Discipline Policies

It is also important to learn as much as you can about other policies that will affect your student.

Do grades determine class rank or are there alternate criteria for ranking students? Is it possible for a student with straight A’s to fail out of school? How high are the dropout rates for students who do not meet academic performance standards? What is the attendance rate at this school? Do students have to take an attendance exam if they miss classes? Are there consequences for students who disrupt class or fail exams?

Note: You should talk with your counselor and speak with current teachers, parents, students, and administrators before making your final school selection.

Research the Culture of the Schools of Your Choice

To determine whether or not a particular school will be an appropriate fit for your child, you should do some research into the student culture and environment. Check out the virtual school’s website to see if it provides students with useful resources such as an online network where they can message each other, post on discussion boards, access intranet sites or even communicate via social media.

Students who are accepted into a virtual high school will benefit from these online resources because they can use them to communicate with their teachers and peers about classroom assignments, post questions, request extensions for submission of work, and more. By taking the time to learn about all aspects of each school you are considering, you can make sure that you and your child choose the one that is right for them.

Apply Early!

The earlier you apply, the better chance you have of getting in somewhere great!

The earlier you apply, the better chance you have of getting in somewhere great! Show that you took time with your application. Don’t just throw something together. Take it seriously and make sure to follow all the directions carefully. Pay close attention to things like deadlines for specific components (i.e., essays)
How to prepare for freshman year of high school
Don’t just throw something together. Take it seriously and make sure to follow all the directions carefully. Pay close attention to things like deadlines for specific components (i.e., essays) Show diversity in your application. While you may need a strong record to get into competitive schools, many kids with great records don’t get accepted. Why? Perhaps they lack something that’s needed – such as a school’s minimum requirement for sports, volunteer work, or community service.

Don’t shy away from schools you’ve never heard of. Yes it might be hard to get into college if you attend an unknown school but showcasing that on your record could show colleges how dedicated and passionate you are about learning.

Wrapping Up

The good thing about attending a virtual high school is that it can provide you with all the resources needed to succeed in college. It also gives students a chance to attend a school closer to home and spend more time with family and friends. When considering different schools, do your research on the curriculum, student culture, and graduation rates at each school before submitting your applications.

There are a number of online high schools out there but how do you know what school is right for your child? If you spend time doing research and applying early, you can find the best fit possible.

Join High School of America Today!

High School of America is an online high school in which students can enjoy a personalized learning environment while earning their high school diploma.

We offer small class sizes, individual attention from teachers and staff members, and a wide range of course options to fit into your schedule. With our flexible scheduling you get more control over how much time it takes to complete assignments.

We Make College Possible!

High School of America helps students gain the academic knowledge and skills they will need to prepare for college or career training through many opportunities including: one-on-one tutoring with qualified Tutor Educators; student clubs focused on personal growth; engaging online activities such as live text chats with experts in a variety of fields; social media engagement with other students, and much more. Join us today and start your journey towards graduating from high school earlier.

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