So you have decided to earn a high school diploma online. Good for you! However, choosing the right online high school is paramount in your being a successful student. Choose wrong and you may not graduate. Choose well and you are on your way.
Below are ten questions that should be used as a jumping-off point in your school selection process.
- Do you have a high school diploma track? Yes, there are schools that only provide courses, but do not offer the complete package. You will want to know which this particular school is.
- What is the size of the student population? It can be large and it can be small, but you will want to know how many students. Why? Because you will also want to know how many teachers. Then do a division problem. Does each teacher have hundreds of students assigned? This could be a warning sign.
- How long have you been an online school? While new schools can be innovative, there is much to be said for schools that have stood the test of time. In the online school world, that may be a school that has been offering courses for at least three years.
- How many courses/credits do I need in order to graduate? Best to know this up-front. The number of courses likely mirrors the number required at traditional public schools. Could be a little less, but shouldn’t be more.
- How liberal is your credit transfer policy? If you have already been attending high school, you will want the school to accept all or almost all of your high school credits. If a school says that they don’t accept transfer credits or will only accept a very few, you will want to consider whether this is the right school for you. It may still be a good choice in other areas, but you will want to know the answer to this question before you enroll.
- Do many of your students get accepted into four-year colleges? This may not be a goal of yours right now, but you could change your mind. Understanding now where a school’s graduates end up can be helpful. Some online schools will post a list of the colleges being attended by its graduates. This is helpful to you.
- Do most students pass their courses? It would be nice if they would be willing to let you know their percentage of course completions. The number should be neither too high or too low.
- Will I be assigned to a teacher? Some online schools run more on auto-pilot than others. Do you want a teacher to support you? Choose a school where there is much teacher-student interaction. Do you not want a teacher? Choose a school where you are more on your own.
- How will I work with other students? Some schools factor in group work. Others don’t. Decide which you like and choose based partly on this factor.
- What is your refund policy? If the school is not tuition-free, it’s never a bad idea to know how you can get your money back if you change your mind.
These questions at least get you started down this path. It is likely that these ten lead to ten more. That’s fine; effective research is key in making your selection.