When you earn an accredited high school diploma online, you could earn 30% more than someone who hasn’t finished high school. That’s more than $8,600 per year! Also, you are 70% more likely to be employed and have a better job. Your career opportunities can be unlimited.
But before you start, don’t believe a school is accredited just because they say so. There’s a little homework on accreditation that you need to do. Your online high school diploma will only be respected by employers and accepted by colleges if it comes from an accredited school.
One school advertises online – take a test and summarize your experiences. With a small payment you are guaranteed a diploma in 15 days. It’s hard to see how anyone could fall for that scam, but not all “fakes” are that obvious.
Some schools claim to be accredited by an agency that’s just a worthless set of initials.
What is accreditation? It’s the process of reviewing a school to see if it meets standards set by an outside agency. When a school meets minimum criteria, it’s granted accreditation. And that agency has to be approved by either the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Both organizations keep a website with a list of legitimate accreditors.
Accreditation is done to protect students, employers and schools.
Many online schools are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). This agency is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
But if you are going on to a university, talk to every university you are thinking of attending first. Make sure they accept the credits from the school you are considering. They also have to approve your choice of courses.
When selecting an online high school, your best idea is to choose an online school that is accredited by one of the six regional accreditors. These regional agencies are recognized by both the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Most brick-and-mortar public and private universities are accredited by these regional accreditors. They are listed as:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA)
Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA)
Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS)
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NWCCU)
A degree from an online school that is accredited by one of these six associations is good anywhere. Employers and universities will accept your diploma.
If there is a local charter high school, you may be able the take your online classes free and paid for by the government. Some states also have online public high schools that are free to residents. Your computer and internet fees may even be paid for.
Online high schools that are University-affiliated are becoming more popular in online education. The university programs are high quality and offer good value for your money. Gifted students can also take more advanced placement classes for college credit than a regular high school may allow. You do have to verify accreditation with any school you intend to attend.
You don’t have to be isolated from the social life and athletics of your class. Most high schools will allow students that home school to participate in extra-curricular activities and sports.
Attending class in your pajamas while listening to music at home may appeal to you too.
Now if you have the discipline and motivation, you can earn an accredited High School diploma online.