The 25 Best High Schools Online for 2018
Whether you're a young performer, athlete, or returning to class to finish your diploma, online high schools have made it possible for non-traditional students to graduate on their terms.
The following ranking represents the 25 best high schools online; these schools were selected and ranked through focused research, primarily on the quality of key online high school features.
In determining the order of this ranking, we awarded points based on:
- Range of course selection, including core, Advanced Placement, and elective opportunities (1-5 points)
- Level of course flexibility in earning an online high school diploma (1-3 points)
- Testimonials from online high school graduates and/or family members. (1-3 points)
- Academic support and career guidance from faculty (1-3 points)
- Quality of virtual high school classroom technology (1-3 points)
- An additional point was awarded for noteworthy features that made it a best online high school (1-3 points)
In the event of a tie in points, the school with the lower tuition rate appears higher in the ranking
Tuition data was sourced from each online high school's official website.
The following list of ranked colleges represents the 25 best high schools online.
#25 – Clonlara School
Program Cost: $3,650.00 annual full-time tuition
Clonlara School is a greatly supportive learning environment, emphasizing the student's individualized interests and educational goals. Founded in 1967, Clonlara's leaders created a learning environment welcoming to all, regardless of background, culture, or any other distinctions. Clonlara's offers one of the best high school programs online, where students can be enrolled full-time, one semester at a time, or by individual courses; depending on which online program is selected, the cost will differ.
#24 – The Ogburn School
Program Cost: $1,295.00 annual tuition
Based in Florida, The Ogburn School is committed to high-quality education for the non-traditional student. Ogburn's directors are seasoned professionals in education, with a combined 30+ years in the field. This school offers K-12 grade-level education, both onsite and online. K-12 online high school is regionally accredited and can be completed in flexible program lengths. Many of Ogburn's online high school students work through summers to receive their diploma in under four years. Ogburn provides extensive academic counseling, 24/7 access to courses, transcript preparation assistance, and more.
#23 – North Dakota Center for Distance Education
Program Cost: $250.00 per core course, $300.00 per advanced placement course (nonresident rates)
Since 1935, the North Dakota Center for Distance Education has been a respected provider of education, in particular to those in grades 6-12. Over time, the ND Center has developed a high-quality series online learning programs. This institution's high school online includes a large selection of course subject areas; among these subject areas include aerospace, social studies, art, computer education, science, music, English, general education, and more. ND Center for Distance Education is affordable for both in and out-of-state students; for students seeking further tuition assistance, this online school has multiple scholarships, grant, and other funding opportunities to qualified students.
#22 – National High School
Program Cost: $199.00 per month flat rate for two or more courses
National High School is a trusted online institution, offering several paths to earning a diploma. NHS has modern virtual classroom technology, providing a wealth of helpful resources via its Learn Center; the Learn Center is a hub of interactive activity, with chat rooms, message boards, faculty communications, and much more. National High School is among the best online high schools for its affordability, course flexibility, and quality of academics. The tuition for National's programs is a flat, low-cost tuition of $199 per month for two or more courses; this rate goes up slightly if there is an increase in credit-hours within five months.
#21 – Sevenstar Academy
Program Cost: $529.00 to $629.00 per course
A Christian-based education option, Sevenstar Academy serves online students in grade levels 6 through 12. Sevenstar encourages a highly interactive learning experience, and teachers work closely with parents to ensure student success. For those enrolled in the online high school, there is user-friendly technology and flexible scheduling to suit individual needs. Sevenstar additionally has an online summer school, providing 10-week credit recovery courses for increasing GPA or supplementing missing credits. Sevenstar averages near a 100% graduation rate of its online high school students; all of these students between 2009 and 2016 graduated in four years or less.
#20 – The Oaks Private School
Program Cost: $1,316.00 annual tuition
The Oaks Private School is an accredited, 100% online education for students attending 6th through 12th grade. Another Christian-based option on our list, Oaks has three online high school options; these programs include a standard track, college preparation-focused, or honors-level diploma. The Oaks Private Schools meets a wide range of scheduling needs; students who seek to accelerate their diploma, may enroll and complete unlimited numbers of courses within 365 days. This online high school commits to customizing curriculum, working with each student individually to achieve their goals; diploma plans are customized to conclude between three and five years.
#19 – Advantages School International
Program Cost: $2,350.00 to $3,950.00 annual tuition
Providing a top-notch education to grades K-12, Advantages School International is a 100% online learning option. ASI has numerous benefits for students, in particular, a comprehensive, strong online high school option, self-paced coursework, attentive faculty guidance, challenging curriculum, and much more. While ASI has increased its educational services, it has maintained an affordable tuition rate; this tuition can be paid in installment plans, and there is a 10% discount for siblings and active military. Online high school students can enroll in a college prep diploma, general studies diploma, or single supplemental courses as needed.
#18 – Excel High School
Program Cost: $99.00 to $129.00 per-month
One of the best and affordable high schools online, Excel is a 100% self-paced path to a diploma. Excel High School has three available online programs; these programs include the standard, adult, or honors high school diploma. This school has an innovative interactive technology, making the virtual classroom a worthwhile experience. Excel provides all course materials on its online portal, making it unnecessary to order or ship hard copy versions. In recent surveys, 99% of EHS graduates stated they found the program highly rewarding, and 95% stated they would recommend EHS to others.
#17 – University of Nebraska High School Online
Program Cost: $250.00 per course
Founded in 1929, University of Nebraska High School (UNHS) has a long history of producing successful graduates. UNHS courses allow students the flexibility to study at their own pace. They are given between five and 52 weeks to complete any course. UNHS is known to have an attentive, accessible faculty, with extensive teaching experience. UNHS also has dual enrollment options, where students can complete their high school diploma while earning college credits from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The University of Nebraska High School is a not-for-profit high school providing students and schools with more than 100+ core, elective, Advanced Placement, and dual enrollment courses online. These courses cover a wide range of subjects like Visual and Performing Arts, World Languages, English, Mathematics and more. For a full list of the course offering, visit their website.
#16 – Smart Horizons Career Online High School
Program Cost: $529.00 per course
Smart Horizons Career Online High School has a rich set of resources for its students, both academically and technically. Online high school students at smart horizons are primarily adults, many of whom are seeking better career options or wish to enroll in college. Graduates of this high school online are given an accredited diploma, career certificate, job skills, and a wealth of knowledge from its experienced educators. Smart Horizons provides numerous online seminars and other training to make certain each graduate is best-prepared for a career.
#15 – International Connections Academy
Program Cost: $430.00 per course
A K-12 online private school, International Connections Academy is a fully-accredited education opportunity for multiple types of students. ICA values a diverse faculty and student body, allowing for optimum exposure to new perspectives. Among the best high schools online, ICA offerings blend core curriculum, elective studies, advanced placement, college-level courses, and/or NCAA-Approved courses. In ICA's 2015 class, 100% graduated on time, and 100% of the students who applied to colleges were accepted. This top high school online also has a strong reputation with parents; 90% of ICA parents reported in surveys that they would recommend the program to others.
#14 – Greenways Academy
Program Cost: $360.00 to $475.00 per course
Greenways Academy is a progressive, student-focused institution, boasting a 100% graduation rate and 99% college enrollment rate. Among its course locations in online, where students have ample flexibility when earning their diploma. Greenways' top online high school is an individualized educational experience, where each student is seen for their individual learning potential. Greenways Academy is a practitioner of a multi-modal education; this approach engages visual, auditory, and hands-on learning, a provenly effective means of absorbing curriculum.
#13 – CompuHigh-Whitmore School
Program Cost: $385 per course/ $1,394 – 1,499 per 12 months (depending on program choice)
Founded in 1994, CompuHigh-Whitmore School is the world's first online high school. This school has a great deal to offer diploma-seeking students, who can enroll and begin their program any time of year. This is among the best high schools online, in part due to its course and curriculum flexibility; CompuHigh has diploma programs that include Diploma Plus, Adult Education, College Prep Track, and a General Studies track. This online high school allows students to select the number of credits and courses that best suit their career goals. Additionally, CompuHigh allows students to take individual courses independent of a diploma program.
#12 – Forest Trail Academy
Program Cost: $2,395.00 annual tuition
Based in Florida, Forest Trail Academy offers a "holistic online environment" to motivated students seeking personalized learning. Forest Trail is known for using the latest in virtual learning technology, offering user-friendly and accessible classroom environments. The 24-credit online high school is in a flexible, self-paced format with numerous electives available to balance out core curriculum requirements; some of the available electives include mass communication, theater, creative writing, anatomy and physiology, statistics, television production, and much more. Forest Trail Academy works with each family's ability to pay, making multiple payment plans available as necessary. The Academy is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement.
#11 – Penn Foster High School
Program Cost: $1,495.00 full annual tuition
Serving academia for over 125 years, Penn Foster is a highly comprehensive and innovative school. Penn Foster's online high school utilizes the best in virtual classroom technology, now with even more mobile-friendly course content. Penn Foster's top online high school encourages an interactive community, and students have multiple means to connect with one another; this community extends beyond graduation, with a regular feed of forum discussion, job boards, career advice, and much more. 99% of surveyed graduates reported being satisfied with their education and 98% reported they would recommend the school to friends.
#10 – NorthStar Academy
Program Cost: $390 to $485 per 0.5 credit (additional discounts available)
A Christian-centered school, NorthStar Academy balances its education in spirituality, academics, and personal growth. NorthStar's online high school program has over 200 courses from which to choose; these courses span core subjects, honors, advanced placement courses, and numerous electives. NorthStar Academy provides an option for Enriched Virtual Courses, where students have weekly live sessions with teachers, a cohort-style of learning, increased access to online interaction, among other benefits. NorthStar is approved by the NCAA and runs programs from 4th to 12th grade.
#9 – Texas Tech University K-12
Program Cost: $250
For over 25 years, Texas Tech University has led virtually any type of student to academic and career success. TTU's online high school can be attended either full or part-time, and students can graduate at any point throughout the calendar year. In order to be considered a full-time online high school student, one must be enrolled in a minimum of four courses. Texas Tech additionally provides a "credit by exam" program, where qualifying students may improve a previous course grade, or bring it from failing to passing status. TTU K-12 has full accreditation from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Texas Education Agency (TEA).
#8 – Park City Independent
Program Cost: Contact school for specific tuition rates
Based in Utah, Park City Independent embraces the unique qualities and contributions of each student. This top high school online holds high academic standards, requiring a minimum B- GPA throughout the diploma track. Students may enroll any time of year, and courses can be completed entirely at their own pace and schedule. Park City's online high school is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission, which is one of only six regional organizations used by public schools and accepted by U.S. colleges and universities. Park City Independent high school has all of the needed core courses to graduate, and students may also personalize their diploma with electives in sociology, world languages, art, economics, and much more.
#7 – Laurel Springs School
Program Cost: $1,540.00 annual tuition
The Laurel Springs school is a highly-respected online private school, with a vast range of academic offerings. This Upper School at Laurel, grades 9-12, has a unique range of core and elective curriculum; students are encouraged to shape their education outside of core courses, with over 25 electives available. Additionally, Laurel Spring's high school online has a Gifted and Talented Academy, a special program for students with exceptional learning needs; this program has an even more personalized learning environment and support system. Laurel Springs School provides a state-of-the-art online learning environment and academic guidance.
#6 – International Virtual Learning Academy
Program Cost: $6,030.00 annual tuition
International Virtual Learning Academy is a diverse learning environment, offering course options to multiple types of students. IVLA values an authentic student community, providing online classrooms that foster interaction with peers. The Academy has seven different learning environments to select from, depending on your individual education needs; these programs include Plato Learning, Apex/Honors Learning, eDynamic, Accelerate, Rosetta Stone, or Ignitia, a Christ-centered education provider. IVLA's online high school now includes "clubs", where students with similar interests can share and interact. International Virtual Learning Academy encourages parent involvement by holding regular parent support conferences.
#5 – Franklin Virtual High School
Program Cost: $395.00 per course
Offering a diverse range of academics, Franklin Virtual High School has an award-winning curriculum and top-notch guidance resources. This top high school online has affordable diploma-earning programs that focus on pursuing a career or continued higher learning; these FVHS has featured offerings including live on-demand tutoring, self-paced learning, and affordable rates for high school students of all backgrounds. Additionally, online Franklin high school students can re-take previous courses to either earn a passing or higher grade; this program is called "credit recovery classes," at a rate of $395 per course. FVHS has SAT, ACT, or GED test preparation, summer school, and other unique curriculum tracks.
#4 – The Keystone School
Program Cost: $419.00 to $649.00 per course
Founded in 1974, The Keystone School is a flexible, affordable, and well-established education option. Keystone's high school online program welcomes virtually any type of student; some of Keystone's online high school students include college-bound, career-bound, homebound, and/or students who have struggled in traditional high school environments. Keystone high school online has an award-winning curriculum that is easily tailored to the specialized goals of its future graduates. High school students have the option to enroll full-time or take individual courses. Keystone has over 250,000 graduates around the world, many of whom have given praise to the online high school experience.
#3 – Brigham Young University's Independent Study
Program Cost: $152.00 to $256.00 per course
A long-trusted name in academics, Brigham Young University's Independent Study program has a vast selection of educational opportunity. BYU's top online high school is offered in three available variations; these programs include a standard and advanced four-year diplomas, and an adult diploma program designed for students over nineteen-years-old. BYU has received accolades from recent graduates, among them including gymnasts, actors, and other types of non-traditional students. Brigham Young's online high school program incentivizes strong grades; for students who maintain a B or higher average, BYU awards a free scholarship course after every five courses. All of Brigham Young's online education programs come with free, reliable tutoring services.
#2 – The University of Texas at Austin High School
Program Cost: $2,700.00 annual full-time enrollment
The University of Texas at Austin High School is among the top online diploma opportunities. This school has an innovative, interactive learning portal, resources for students with disabilities, academic advisement, and much more. Additionally, University of Texas's online high school has additional academic coursework for the Spanish-speaking student population. UTHS high school online has flexible scheduling options, and the course curriculum is held to the high standards of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Once enrolled in a high school course, students have a maximum of 150 days to complete it; each course is an affordable $225 per semester.
#1 – James Madison High School
Program Cost: $1,199.00 to $1,599.00
Flexible and affordable, James Madison High School online suits the needs of both traditional and non-traditional students. This top online high school is committed to preparing its students for a diverse range of goals; among James Madison's students include those seeking stronger job qualifications, a complete diploma, homeschooling, and other special circumstances. JMHS online high school students can enroll and begin their courses any time of year. James Madison is both nationally and regionally accredited, meeting high standards of distance education requirements.
The following list of ranked colleges represents the 25 best high schools online.
The Top 50 Summer Arts Programs for High School Students
The 50 Best Summer Business Programs for High School Students
The Top 50 Best Summer Science Programs for High School Students
The 50 Best Summer Technology Programs for High School Students