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!


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