How Private Online High Schools Work:
Private online high schools have limited government oversight. They do not to have to meet many federal and state regulations in terms of course offerings, teacher credentialing, and curriculum requirements. Because they receive no public funds, private online high school programs are often expensive. However, they may offer services not always available from no-cost schools. Some programs provide college admissions counseling, accelerated schedules, or summer travel experiences. There are private online high schools targeted towards gifted students as well as programs designed for the academically challenged.
Private Online High School Accreditation:
Private online high schools are not necessarily accredited. If you plan on transferring your credits between high schools or applying to college, your best bet is to choose a program that is regionally accredited. Some quality private schools are also nationally accredited by the DETC. However, not all colleges will accept these credits.
Private Online High School Costs:
In general, online private high schools tend to be expensive. Although it is possible to find non-profit programs, many of the most popular online private schools are profit-seeking businesses. Some students pay in excess of $16,000 for a four-year diploma program. However, it is possible to find low-cost alternatives. Penn Foster, for example, has a complete diploma program for around $1,200.
Private Online High School Admissions:
Admissions policies vary between schools. Some private online high schools are designed for academically advanced students and have rigorous admissions requirements including exams and letters of recommendation. Other programs have an open admissions policy and admit any student that is of age.
Private Online High School Pros:
Students considering private online high schools have a lot of alternatives to choose from. Many of these programs are highly individualized, giving students more one-on-one attention than they could get through an online public school. Students can choose a school that focuses on their interests such as technology or religion. Because these schools are not limited to a publicly funded budget, they are often able to provide more elective choices and other activities. Some private online high schools also tend to be more flexible and open to working with students.
Private Online High School Cons:
On the downside, the lack of government oversight means that some online private schools provide a low quality education. Their teachers are not necessarily trained or credentialed. Most reputable online private schools charge a substantial amount for tuition. But, this cost doesn’t guarantee quality. Many programs hire a large number of after-work teachers. It can be difficult for these instructors to focus on their online students after spending a long day teaching in a traditional classroom.