QUOTE


"We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause." - Horace Mann, first secretary of education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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How To Finish High School Online For Free

Instead of physically sitting in class, you can take all the same courses online from the comfort of your own home and finish high school online. There are some courses that still require you to physically go to a building to take an exam or for some other reason, but these are considered to be hybrids. In the US, online schools are generally free if they're run by the state.

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Advantages of Finishing High School Online

  • No need to get up ridiculously early in the morning
  • No bullies
  • No mean teachers
  • No set time limits
  • ... do I need to list any more? :)

Disadvantages/Requirements of Finishing High School Online

  • You have to manage your time on your own (though this could be a good thing too)
  • People will probably argue that you're not socializing enough
  • You have to be able to type well
  • The actual course and work that you do will probably be pretty similar to the stuff you do in regular school

Getting a high school diploma online

These are usually called "virtual schools" or "cyberschools". Everything is done over the internet.

There are 4 main types of assignments. Assessments are the most common, and include students uploading files, usually created using wordprocessors or spreadsheets. Worksheets are also common, and can consist of multiple choice, matching, short answer, and other questions. Generally, grading is controlled by the teachers. Most questions from worksheets are auto graded by the computer, but if a response is needed for any question, the teacher must manually grade that portion of the assignment. (From Wikipedia)

How do I know if an online high school is accredited? - If you graduate from an accredited online high school, you will have as good a chance of getting into college as a student from a public school. This counts for the US though. Other countries probably have similar requirements.

How to find an online high school

Distance isn't really an issue, but it's generally a good idea to try to enroll in one that's not too far away.

The easiest way to find an online high school would probably be to search Google for "virtual high school" and the name of the city nearest to where you live. This method tends to work best for the US. For other countries, you may have to experiment a bit with what you type in.

Here is a list of online schools for each US state

A list - Lists a few schools and related things.
Finding an online high school - has some info on the differences between public and private online schools in the US (also has loads more info and links).

Getting a degree online

This distance learning stuff doesn't just apply to high school, you can also get just about any degree online without having to set foot in a university/college. Some courses will require you to show up every now and then for practical purposes, but for the most part you don't have to go anywhere.

OEDb - OEDb currently contains reviews of 1,172 programs from 96 accredited online colleges.
Guide to Online Schools - Directory of Accredited Online Degrees and Distance Learning Programs.
Online Schools - Top Accredited Online Schools.

Learning stuff online

200 Free Online Classes to Learn Anything - Huge list of free courses online.
MIT OpenCourseWare - Free lecture notes, exams, and other resources from more than 1800 courses spanning MIT's entire curriculum.
Online Courses - Has categories for various subjects.

Independent Study / Correspondence Courses online

Written by:

These are not necessarily degree programs, but online courses for independent study etc. I'm not sure if you'll get credit for all of these places, I haven't verified that.

Stanford - Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY)

Great program which I plan on taking some courses in. The highlight of the program is the course sequence on physics and math. They have freshmen physics through introductory quantum mechanics, and kindergarten level math to point-set topology/differential equations/basic number theory and more. :)

They also have introductory programming (C, Java), a course in fundamental music theory, and some writing courses.

Colorado Consortium for Independent Study

Has tons of online courses on even very obscure topics such as advanced astrodynamics or preventing back pain with ergonomics. The FAQ also says these are available for international students.

I'll probably take a course or two here.

Ohio University's Correspondence Courses

Similar to Colorado's Consortium. Lots and lots of courses.

Texas Tech - Outreach & Distance Education

Has courses for K-12 students as well as some undergraduate courses.

University of Mississippi - Independent Study

Nothing too advanced, has lots of random courses. Worth checking out.

University of Missouri - Center for Distance Learning & Independent Study

Similar to University of Mississippi, has more courses that are offered as well as elementary and high school level courses. Also offers an online general studies degree.

Articles about Online High Schools

Finishing High School Online: An Introduction

List of Online Virtual High Schools


3 Steps To Getting An Online High School Education by Dean Iggo
Some instructions for getting your high school diploma online.
2008.Jul.10

The Importance of Accreditation by Heather Brunson
If you choose an online high school that isn't accredited, you may find that many colleges and businesses won't accept your diploma.
2008.Jul.10

Why Online High School? by Heather Brunson
Online High Schools are just like their classroom counterparts - there are assignments, quizzes and final exams.
2008.Jul.10

Take online courses to better your career.

Got more info about finishing high school online?

If you have any online high school info that I should add to this page, please contact me.

Related Stuff:
What should I do if I am afraid to disappoint my parents?
How do I convince my parents to let me try alternatives to school?
Alternative Learning & Income Forum
The Teenage Liberation Handbook
Discuss this in the forums.
Beware Of Fake Diplomas!
3 Steps To Getting An Online High School Education
The Importance of Accreditation
Why (or why not) Online High School?
Homeschooling & Unschooling
Dropping out / Getting a GED
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