The 25 Best Online High Schools for 2016 – 2017
(Updated: September 12, 2016)
Many students in unique circumstances find themselves needing some additional flexibility in order to complete their high school degree. Whether you’re a performer or athlete needing more practice time to up your game, someone looking to supplement their homeschooling curriculum, or a student with special health needs, the good news is that these days you can obtain a high quality degree on your own time with online high school programs. After reviewing close to 100 online programs, we’ve located the 25 best online high schools for 2016 – 2017 based on affordability, academic offerings, and support services.
- Affordability (20%): the average cost per .5 credit course. Estimated in some instances by assuming a four course per five-month semester term.
- Number of courses (20%): the number of courses open to grades 9-12 including honors, AP, and dual credit college courses.
- Range of Support Services (20%): the range of support services, including interactive learning environments, counseling services, personalized learning, and student organizations.
- Number of concentrations/Advanced Tracks (20%): the number of degree types, generally including options such as accelerated, general diploma, honors, ap honors, and dual enrollment.
All programs considered for the ranking are fully accredited.
1. Laurel Springs School
Laurel Springs School is a fully accredited K-12 online high school offering over 150 courses in normal and honors programs. AP courses are available, as well as a gifted and talented program. Students from Laural Springs have been accepted to many of the best colleges in the nation, with 91% of online high school graduates accepted into their college of choice. Current tuition is charged per course at $690 per college prep course, $790 per honors, lab or world language course, and $990 per AP course. Prices for the second semester are discounted if students take year-long courses instead of single-semester courses.
School Website: http://laurelsprings.com
2. Brigham Young University Independent Study
Brigham Young University’s Independent Study program offers accredited standard, advanced, and adult diploma programs for high school fully online. Besides traditional high school classes, university-level classes are available for talented high school students. AP courses are also available through the advanced program. Tuition is currently charged per course, with university-level courses costing $173 per credit, and high school courses charged based on their format (teacher-led or online), ranging from $140-$243 per half credit.
School Website: https://is.byu.edu
3. University of Nebraska High School
The University of Nebraska High School is accredited and offers over 100 fully-online courses. AP courses are available, as well as the Advanced Placement International Diploma track, a good choice for international students hoping to attend university in the United States. Dual enrollment with the University of Nebraska at Omaha is also supported through psychology, sociology, and comparative government and politics courses. Effective July 1, 2015, one-semester courses are $200 for non-residents, and $150 for Nebraska residents, while full year courses are double the cost.
School Website: http://highschool.nebraska.edu
The Texas Tech University Independent School District offers fully accredited K-12 course-work, with close to 100 courses available at the high school level. Attendance options include a full-time program, individual course program, and a curriculum to supplement existing homeschooler curricula. Credit-by-exam opportunities can help to accelerate the high school process and give students credit for what they already know. Online courses are a flat rate of $180 per course, including a $140 course fee, and a $40 administrative fee.
School Website: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/ttuisd/
5. North Dakota Center for Distance Education
The North Dakota Center for Distance Education offers accredited middle and high school coursework fully online. Over 180 courses are currently available at the high school level, including a number of unique agriculture options as well as AP classes. Both college-bound and general high school degree paths are available, as well as a credit recovery program for traditional high school coursework. Tuition is charged per course. For North Dakota students core, AP, and elective courses range from $125-$200 for a 20 week semester, and can be extended to 40 weeks for an additional $125 per course. For non-residents core and elective courses cost $300, while AP courses are $350. These can also be extended to 40 weeks for an additional $125 per course.
School Website: http://www.ndcde.org
6. Indiana University High School
Indiana University’s High School offers three fully accredited online high school programs, including the general education diploma, a college prep diploma, and an academic honors diploma. Currently there are around 80 online courses available, as well as AP courses. Past students have attended many of the top universities in the nation. Currently tuition is charged per course at $151.98. After applicable fees, courses cost less than $250.
School Website: https://iuhighschool.iu.edu
7. International Virtual Learning Academy
The International Virtual Learning Academy is an accredited K-12 online private school. Courses are available in a number of formats–from a number of courseware frameworks– including secular, religious, standards-based, AP, and honors courses. Over 350 high school courses are available in total. Besides the traditional high school track, adult learning, GED, and SAT and ACT prep tracks are available. Tuition varies slightly depending on the courseware framework selected, but averages to around $430 per yearlong course.
School Website: https://www.internationalvla.com
8. Franklin Virtual High School
The Franklin Virtual High School is an accredited fully online high school offering over 120 courses. Current program offerings include a traditional high school track, GED prep classes, ACT and SAT prep classes, summer school, credit recovery programs, and independent study. A college prep high school diploma is also available. Tuition is available on a month-by-month subscription plan for $185 a month. For students taking four classes in a 5-month semester, this averages out to around $231 per course.
School Website: http://www.franklinvirtualschools.com
9. Advantage School International
Advantages School International offers accredited K-12 curriculum fully online. Currently over 300 courses are available, including AP courses in a wide variety of subjects. Two diplomas are available to students of any age: a general studies diploma, and a college preparatory diploma. Currently tuition is charged by year at a price of $3950, which rounds out to around $493 per course for a student taking an eight course load. Single-semester courses are available as well at a price of $650 per course.
School Website: http://www.advantagesschool.com
10. University of Missouri — MU Online High School
The University of Missouri offers an accredited online school for grade levels K-12. Currently around 230 high school courses are available online, including both AP and Honors courses. Full-time diplomas include a standard path and a college-bound path. Part time options are also available, allowing students in other programs to graduate sooner, expanded options for students in other courses, and flexible schedules. Many courses are developed in collaboration with the University of Missouri, and many graduates have been accepted to many of the nation’s top universities. Tuition is $500 per one-semester course. A 50% discount is applied for students admitted into an MU high school diploma program, or who have permanent Missouri addresses.
School Website: http://mizzouk12online.missouri.edu
11. James Madison High School
James Madison High School offers an accredited online high school program that may be started year-round. Both a general track and college-bound track are available, with courses tailored to those in the military, who are homeschooled, athletes & performers, as well as adult learners. Currently 43 courses are available, with coursework available at traditional and college prep levels. Courses may be purchased singularly for $249. For diploma-seekers a yearly tuition of $1,374 renders an estimated cost of $171 per half credit semester course.
School Website: http://www.jmhs.com
12. Clonlara School
Clonlara School offers an accredited online teacher-supported program for grades 5-12. Currently there are over 80 courses available at the high school level, including an honors program, career exploration courses, and standardized test prep. Students are required to have a portfolio of work, as well as have completed a set number of community service hours before graduation. Students take 5 courses per semester, as well as have the option of 1 custom self-designed course made in collaboration with an academic advisor. Tuition is currently $3,650 per year, which average out to around $365 per course for students who complete two semesters with the prescribed 5-course course loads.
School Website: http://www.clonlara.org/home/
13. Sevenstar Academy
Sevenstar Academy offers an accredited and fully online Christian high school program. Currently close to 200 online courses may be chosen from, with regular, honors, AP, dual credit, or specialty courses available. ESL, ELL, and credit recovery programs are also available. Tuition is currently charged by course depending on course length. For standard and elective course, single-semester courses are $429, while full-year courses are $529. AP courses are $100 more for both semester and full year options. Dual credit courses are available for $629. Full time students who take six or more courses receive rebates on their sixth course of up to $450.
School Website: http://sevenstar.org/academy/
14. Northstar Academy
Northstar Academy is an accredited and fully online Christian school offering coursework for grades 4-12. Both teacher-led and parent-led (homeschooling) programs are available. Flexible start dates allow for the completion of the 9-month school year at any point within a given 12 months, adding flexibility to student and parents’ lives. More than 200 courses are offered at the high school level online, including dual credit as well as AP classes. Credit recovery is also available. Tuition is charged per course with one-semester courses costing $365 for teacher-led programs, and one-year courses costing $570. AP courses cost slightly more. Parent-led costs range from $110-$165 for half or full-year courses.
School Website: http://www.northstar-academy.org
15. Christian Educators Academy
Christian Educators Academy is an accredited fully online Christian middle and high school. Three diploma options are available: college prep, honors/AP, and career/vocational. 97% of graduates from the Christian Educators Academy have proceeded to the college, university, or branch of the military of their choice. Currently over 100 online courses are available, with full-time students generally taking 6 courses at once: 4 core courses and 2 electives. Tuition is charged per year or semester, with year-based pricing at $2,600 for the AP/Honors track, and $2,200 for the college preparatory track.
School Website: http://christianeducatorsacademy.com
16. The University of Texas at Austin High School
The University of Texas at Austin High School offers an accredited fully-online school for grades 9-12. 60 courses are currently available at the high school level. Students may take up to 150 days to complete a course, and take final proctored exams. ASKME Multimedia courses are available for the maths and sciences, and are textbook free, providing instruction through simulations, interactive exercises, and animations. Lucha and Migrant programs are available for students who are new to the country or non-native English speakers. A dual credit program is also available. Tuition is currently $225 per semester course.
School Website: http://highschool.utexas.edu
17. The Oaks Private School (TOPS)
The Oaks Private School offers an accredited fully-online Christian 6-12th grade experience. Currently over 85 high school courses may be chosen from, with three diploma types: standard, college prep, or honors college prep. AP courses are also available. The Oaks Private School offers open enrollment, allowing students up to 365 days to complete an unlimited number of courses. Tuition is currently $2,650 for the standard college prep program, and $2,850 for the honors college prep program.
School Website: http://www.theoaksprivateschool.com/online/
18. International Connections Academy
The International Connections Academy offers an accredited fully online K-12 program. Currently over 200 high school courses are available, including dual enrollment, honors, and AP courses. A number of college acceleration programs are available as well, including the ability t graduate high school with an Associate’s degree, as well as taking over 65 courses through the University of Maryland at University College (at in-state tuition rates). A number of clubs and activities are also available, ranging from art to mathematics to volunteer organizations. Students may attend International Connections Academy on a full-time or part-time basis. Tuition is currently $5,842 per year, or $3,135 per semester.
19. Greenways Academy
Greenways Academy offers an accredited fully online educational program for grades 5-12. Currently close to 100 courses are available at the high school level. Full-time, part-time, or course-by-course enrollment are all available, as well as rolling admissions. Courses are self-paced yet provide numerous interfaces through which students can interact with teachers. Tuition is calculated on a course-by-course basis, with individual courses costing between $360 and $475.
School Website: http://www.greenwaysacademy.com
20. Penn Foster High School
Penn Foster High School is an accredited fully online and self-paced high school. Currently there are 35 core high school courses available in programs for adult learners, homeschoolers, and traditional students. 6 concentrations are also available: (1)high school diploma with early college courses, (2) a healthcare concentration, (3) an information technology concentration, (4-6) and building technology concentrations in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing. Estimated tuition per course is $124, though may vary by program or payment method.
School Website: http://www.pennfoster.edu
Keystone National is an accredited fully online middle and high school. Currently over 130 course are available at the high school level including AP offerings. A credit recovery program is also available. Students may enroll in full-time or part-time supplamental learning programs, and take either the keystone Standard Online Courses or Keystone Plus Online Courses, which include one-to-one coaching support. Single semester courses currently cost $319 for standard and $529 for plus, while two-semester courses cost $419 for standard and $649 for plus. AP courses are priced slightly higher.
School Website: http://keystoneschoolonline.com
22. The Ogburn School
The Ogburn School is an accredited, fully online and self-paced K-12 school. Currently 45 courses are available at the high school level including a senior capstone project. Adult learning and credit recovery options are also available. Academic standards are aligned with Florida state educational standards. One additional concentration is available through the academy of environmental studies, in which students gain the traditional and practical knowledge needed to create sustainable communities. Tuition varies by program, but starts at $1,295 per year for high school programs.
School Website: http://ogburn.org
23. Excel High School
Excel High School offers accredited, fully online, and self-paced high school courses. Currently close to 30 online courses are available at the high school level. Students may choose from the full-time, part-time, adult learning, and adult learning fast track program types. All courses come with textbooks as well as video instruction. All teachers at Excel High School hold a masters degree or above in their discipline, as well as hold a state teaching license. Tuition is subscription based at $89.80 for all core and elective courses. For students taking four classes per five-month semester, that renders the per-course cost as $112.25.
School Website: http://www.excelhighschool.com
24. Forest Trail Academy
Forest Trail Academy offers accredited, fully online, and self-paced K-12 courses. The range of time that students can take on different modules allows students to spend time on problem areas, while progressing through subject matter they already know. Currently over 50 courses are offered fully online, including nine AP offerings. While homeschooled students always have the option to incorporate their own elements into curricula, Forest Trail Academy actually works with students and parents to tweak courses to the needs of individual families. This can include special interests, religious reasoning, and so on. Tuition is currently $2,950 per grade level, which comes out to $368.75 per course for students taking an eight-course load.
School Website: http://www.foresttrailacademy.com
25. National High School
National High School offers accredited, fully online, and self-paced high school programming. Currently 44 courses are offered at the high school level including AP courses. Programs that may be chosen from include the general high school diploma, an enrichment program for students already in another program, a credit recovery program, and the ability to take individual courses. Tuition is currently charged as a flat fee of $199 per month for two or more courses. For a student taking four courses over a five-month semester this renders a per course cost of $248.75.
School Website: http://www.nationalhighschool.com