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Ten Best Online High Schools

Updated on October 13, 2012

Let me make my first confession: These are probably not the the ten best online high schools. That is just too subjective; what is "best" for me could be very different than what is "best" for you.

That being said, these ten online high schools below are very good. I have heard from a number of students who attest to the quality of the programs. While some have stood the test of time (Penn Foster from 1890), others are brand-new this year. What gets them on this list is a number of things including:

  • Solid comments from previous and current students.
  • Accreditation for a recognized accreditor.
  • Stability of program.
  • Reputation in the online high schools and homeschooling communities.
  • Ability to get students into college.

I encourage you, though, to examine each program carefully to see which one works best for you.

Laurel Springs School

Laurel Springs School

Laurel Springs School is located in Ojai, California, and has a long history of being a school of choice for students who are pursuing professional careers. This includes actors, athletes, and more. However, it is certainly open to all types of students. Want to have some fun? Ask them about their famous graduates!

Kaplan College Preparatory School

Kaplan College Preparatory School is part of a growing chain of online high schools from Kaplan. You may remember this school as the University of Miami Online High School, but, due to a purchase, this spring brought a new name and renewed energy. It is located in Florida and is open to teenaged students.

University of Missouri High School

University of Missouri High School is one of the premier online high schools. Being part of the well-known University of Missouri, it offers a challenging high school curriculum. One advantage over other online high schools is its dual-credit option where students can earn both high school and college credit for the same course.

Penn Foster High School

Penn Foster High School

Penn Foster High School is a school with a long history. Founded in 1890, it was a correspondence school for a variety of educational pursuits. Its strength these days lies in its cost. It is about the least expensive commercial program currently available.It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools.

Citizens' High School

Citizens' High School is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council and was started in 1981. It brings a mixture of a reasonable cost and a quality program. It offers both a general studies track and a college preparation track to meet the needs of both kinds of students. Its programs are open to both teenagers and adults. Citizens' has students both in the U.S. and abroad.

Liberty University Online Academy

Liberty University Online Academy is a new program, but is already making its way toward the top. It is a Christian online high school and is part of Liberty University, the largest Christian distance learning program in the world. LUOA brings that online expertise to the students and early reports of its curriculum are quite positive.

The American Academy

The American Academy

The American Academy is a self-paced program that became accredited this past spring.The school offers 233 different courses which is wonderful for student choice. In addition to its diploma track, students can also use its program for credit recovery (for failed courses) and to accelerate their learning.

Laureate School for the Gifted and Talented

Laureate School for the Gifted and Talented is part of the well-known Laurel Springs School. Debuting this spring, it is specifically for those students who are unique in both their learning and in their educational needs. It has quickly become one of the top online high schools for gifted students.It has a focus on endowing students with critical thinking skills.

Greenways Academy

Greenways Academy is accredited by both the North Central Association and by CITA. It is located in St. Louis, Missouri, but serves students everywhere. It has a strong focus on teaching those students who may not do well in the traditional classroom setting. It was founded in 1996. Its primary emphasis is providing a structure that allows all students to graduate from high school.

EPGY at Stanford University

EPGY at Stanford University has only been around for two years, but its relationship with this prestigious university has placed it in that top tier of online high schools. It accepts very few students each year; a small program intent on staying a small program. In addition, when it says "gifted," they really do mean Stanford-University-Level-Gifted. While it is certainly an exceptional school, you will need to prove yourself to get accepted.


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