Why You Should Take Online Classes During High School

high school student takes online classWhy not?  This new trend in college offerings is a win-win for a high school student who needs some reinforcement in a subject or a student who wants an extra challenge. I think the main thing to be aware of is that your online courses should not be allowed (by you) to compromise your high school GPA in any way, because your high school GPA is the number one factor that determines where you get into college, so do protect that. That said, there are many great reasons to consider this growing option for yourself.

Online classes for high school students are a great way for you to:

1. Get ahead
If your high school will give you credit, you can get ahead in high school by taking the required courses online at your own pace.  Or, you could get college credit for many online courses (the ones offered by colleges) and this will help you start out ahead when you get to college.  Be very aware that your GPA in an online college class counts toward your total college GPA, so be sure to do your very best.

2. Review material to strengthen your skills
Perhaps you did alright in Algebra II, but being able to go over the material again, with a teacher and at your own pace, might just help you out.  This is a great scenario for an online course.  You could learn material you may not have fully grasped the first time, strengthen material you sort of understood, and truly master concepts you nailed originally.  These are all great.  Think about this for Latin or World History…the list goes on.  There are so many subjects you could study and master!

3. Prepare for college
By taking an online course during high school, you are doing extra preparation to be ready for college level work.  Maybe your writing skills need strengthening, or your spelling, or maybe your knowledge of Biology.  If you have an idea of your weaknesses, and some idea of what you’d like to major in, you can bolster your weaknesses so that you can really succeed when you get to college. I think many students could benefit from an extra round of Chemistry, PreCalculus, or Chinese.

4. Redo or replace a course or grade 
If your high school will give you credit, you can often replace a course or grade where you did not do your best.  Maybe you or a family member became ill, or maybe your family moved and you ended up right in the middle of the toughest US History class of your life.  Whatever happened, you can talk with your school counselor and see if he or she might recommend an online course as a way for you to learn that material.  You always want to master the material from one year before you move on to the next because concepts build on one another and so a strong academic foundation will serve you in all future classes and for the rest of your life.

5. Explore subjects that are not currently available to you
Maybe your high school doesn’t offer a course in Applied Physics or Calligraphy or Marketing, but you could explore these interests online! There are so many fascinating subjects that you can learn about, and an online class is a great way to explore new topics and see where your academic interests really lie.

6. Get a taste of college curriculum 
Jumping into an entirely new living situation, class structure and sometimes location can be tough. Taking online classes can make the transition a bit easier by giving you an idea of what to expect class-wise when you get to college. You will have a better idea of what the work-load, teaching style and expectations will be like and so will have set yourself up to succeed.

Some colleges I know of that have online courses for high school students include: BYU, Northeastern University, University of Alabama, Oregon State University, North Dakota University System, and the University of Nebraska.  There are no doubt more; this is just what I have been able to find to date, and the trend is certainly growing. With so many colleges beginning to offer courses online, you can explore endless possibilities.  It is really an exciting time to be a student!



  1. Hello, I’m really curious about if I can take online schooling at home to catch up with my courses and get more credits and I really want to get my diploma this year. I am in grade 12 and this is my third year and I’m not doing good in all my classes and I really want to catch up and I really want to get my diploma this year. So is there any help that you can do for me please?

    1. Author

      Dear Zainab,

      I’m glad to see that you are so keen to finish school. This is excellent! Since you say that you are not doing well, we first need to identify why and try to fix that. Getting a high school diploma allows you to go to college, where you will be doing four more years of school, so having strong study skills will be important then, for your success, just as it is now.

      I can understand your desire to finish, but more importantly, you must finish well. You must really learn the material and actually know many facts and have gained many skills, like writing and mathematics.

      So I think you first need to identify what is currently not working, and set up solutions for those issues that you identify. Then you need to complete your current diploma with the help of your school. Perhaps they will allow you to do online classes.I do not know. But often online school can be more difficult as you are truly on your own. Some students do well at it. Others find it difficult.

      Talk with your school counselor to see what they advise and what they would approve, as your school needs to authorize any diploma you receive.

      Let me know how this goes!
      Stay in the fight. Education is our best hope for our future!


  2. Hi, So I’m in 9th grade (first year of high school) and I’m looking to advance my studies. I believe that education truly is the best hope for our future. I’m doing very well in school so I don’t mind if I don’t earn any credit I just want to learn more. How can I do this? Is online schooling a good idea?

    1. Author

      Hi Maddy! Online classes can be a great way for you to learn about all sorts of topics. Check out BYU’s online program, and Northeastern. Many colleges offer them, including Oxford in England. It’s a terrific way to learn! Best, Susanna

  3. Hi, so I’m in the 10th grade and I am doing well in school. I’m taking advanced classes and I’m even in 11th grade math. But I want to graduate a year early so I can be able to save up money to go to college as soon as possible. Are their any online school’s that offer credit and are free/affordable?

    1. Author

      Hi Alyssa! You can certainly take classes to get ahead in high school, but graduating from high school early will not enable you to save money, since high school is free. You can save money by doing dual enrollment with your local community college. Talk to your school counselor about this great option. Cheers, Susanna

  4. Hi! I’m in 10th grade and am struggling just a bit in school, but it’s less because of the difficulty of coursework and more so having to get up and go to school every day. I’ve been having to miss class due to my severe depression and anxiety, and don’t want to keep losing participation points/having to reschedule tests because I spend so much time at home. As the first semester is drawing to a close, is there any way for me to replace my second semester high school classes with online ones instead?

    1. Author

      Hello dear, First of all, I’m glad that you shared this with me. I’ve been working with teenagers for twenty five years now, and I want to urge you to talk to a trusted teacher at school about how you are feeling. Depression is not easy or fun to deal with, and no one can fight it alone. You need some support, likely from a therapist, and a plan, likely designed with you by a trained counselor. Anxiety can be vastly improved by drinking several liters of water each day and completely avoiding sugar and caffeine. These things can give you some relief, and you will need to exercise daily.

      But most importantly you need to talk to a trained counselor to identify why you are feeling this way. I am very sorry to hear that you are struggling. It is never fun to battle anxiety or depression.

      Also, talk with your school college counselor about what to do for your missed classes and how to possibly approach second semester. Share your struggles with her as well, so that your teachers can be aware. I was a teacher for ten years and it is very, very important that your teachers know what you are facing, so that they can support you and be understanding.

      Let me know how these meetings go. I urge you to reach out to these trusted people today. No one should have to face what you are facing alone.

      Love, Susanna

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