5 Great Reasons For College-Bound Students to Consider an Online High School
Online high schools are still a relatively unknown concept for many people, but for those of us who have seen many school years come and go, it’s easy to understand why online schools see increased enrollment year after year.
For those who aren’t familiar with online high school programs, I’ve put together a short list of the reasons we hear day in and day out, that students choose our online high school programs over other options.
Aside from my short list, why did your family choose an online high school (or elementary/middle school for that matter)? I would love to hear your story in the comments, we may be interested in learning more about you and featuring your story here on the thinktanK12 blog!
Without further adieu, here are five great reasons for college-bound students to consider an online high school:
Reason #1: Students Learn to Work Independently
In grades K-8, parents are generally much more involved in the student’s education – and for good reason. It can be difficult for young students to stay on track without the support of a Learning Coach.
At the high school level, though, students increasingly become more independent both as young adults and as students. Mastering the art (and science) of working independently is a great way to prepare for college and a career, where one is expected to work effectively without a lot of handholding.
When a student learns how to manage multiple priorities and deadlines in an independent manner, this may mean greater employability in the future.
Reason #2: Students Can Work At Their Own Pace*
One of the greatest benefits we hear from our high school students is that they love the ability to work at their own pace. Spend more time on a subject they find to be difficult, breeze through a subject that makes perfect sense.
I should note the asterisk I placed here. Although student’s in an online high school generally have a great degree of flexibility, a student in a public online high school will still be subject to the same deadlines and academic calendar as other public school students – so total flexibility isn’t realistic.
A private online high school will have its own set of requirements for the student, although the amount of flexibility remains greater than in a traditional school model with a set schedule (and in most cases, more flexibility than public online high schools).
Reason #3: Greater Access to Advanced Placement® Courses Can Save You College Tuition Money
With higher-ed tuition costs rising every year, earning college credits from Advanced Placement (AP®) exams can save you a lot of money before that first tuition bill hits your mailbox. In addition to saving you money, AP® credits can earn you money as well, as many scholarship providers take AP work into consideration when awarding financial aid to students.
In a traditional brick-and-mortar school, students are often limited in which courses they are able to take based on whether the school has a teacher for that particular subject. This can be a struggle for high-performing students who want to get a leg-up on college by taking Advanced Placement® courses in high school, especially if the student lives in a rural area.
In an online high school, a wider range of courses is generally available to the student. In many cases, students enroll in our online high school programs specifically for the access to advanced courses, which can easily cut a college tuition bill by hundreds, or even thousands of dollars when completed successfully.
At K12, we offer an Advanced Learner Program for all grades which provides students with some additional services above and beyond the curriculum and instruction.
Reason #4: Greater Access to Elective Courses Can Help Some Students Specialize in a Subject
In some cases, a student knows exactly what he wants to be when he gets older. For students with this type of foresight, the elective course options provided by an online high school can allow the student to ‘specialize’ in a particular subject by taking additional courses.
For example, if a student knows that he wants to go into international business after college, he may choose to take a few years of the foreign language of his choice – which he may not be able to do in some traditional schools.
Reason #5: Avoidance of Distractions and Peer Pressure
All of us who attended a brick and mortar high school know that the experience can often be distracting. Kids passing notes and giggling in class, bullies in the hallways and drama between classmates are just a few examples of the distractions I remember from my high school.
For students who take their studies seriously and want to reduce some distractions, an online program is be a good option to consider.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t distractions that come with an online high school, we know this much. Additionally, peer pressure is nearly impossible to avoid as a teenager with lots of friends, but I highlight this point because these types of things may be encountered less often, especially during ‘school hours'.
We often hear from parents of autistic children, on our Facebook page, that a home environment provides a greater opportunity for the student to excel in their work, free from many of the distractions that come naturally in a crowded classroom. This is just one example of a student population that can benefit significantly from doing courswork online; and of course, every student is different.
Now I will admit, enrolling in a fully online high school isn't an option for many students. In some states, we don't yet offer all of the high school subjects or grades yet, meaning a tuition-free online high school isn't available (but you might want to check our website for available programs anyway). In cases like this, K12 does offer private schools which provide an option for everyone, everywhere. If availability or price of a fully online program isn't in the cards, many students might also consider purchasing individual courses that meet their needs.
A student doesn't need to enroll in a full-time program to realize the many benefits of online learning. Enrolling in just one or two online high school courses can give students the leg up that they want or need by expanding their available course options. Whether you're looking for a full-time or supplemental program to prepare for high school, be sure to check out the various options that are available to you. Regardless of which path you choose, we're here to help high school students get on the road to college acceptance!
- K12 High School Program Information
- Find a K12 High School in Your Area
- K12 Store (Purchase individual online high school courses)
- K12 Online Public Schools
- K12 Online Private Schools
- K12 International Academy (Grades K-12)
- George Washington University Online High School (Grades 9-12)
- The Keystone School (Grades 6-12)