Resources › For Students and Parents How to Earn an Online High School Diploma as an Adult Share Flipboard Email Print PM Images / Photodisc / Getty Images For Students and Parents Distance Learning Online High School Online College Online Public Schools Free Courses Homework Help Private School Test Prep College Admissions College Life Graduate School Business School Law School View More By Jamie Littlefield Education Expert M.A., Education, Claremont Graduate University B.A., English, Brigham Young University Jamie Littlefield is a writer, instructional designer, and teacher of high school and college distance education courses. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and more. our editorial process Jamie Littlefield Updated August 01, 2019 Adults who didn't graduate high school realize that getting a high school diploma can improve their employment prospects and make them eligible for workplace promotions. But most don’t have the leisure of spending seven hours a day on a school campus. Online high school diploma programs offer adults the chance to schedule school work at their convenience and complete courses at their own pace. Why Degrees Are Important Before enrolling in an adult online high school diploma program, think about your needs. Completing a high school diploma can give bring personal satisfaction and can make you more competitive for some jobs. You may need a high school diploma to join the military or be hired at some entry-level jobs. And there are other options for adult education. If you have the skills and are willing to spend a couple of years in class, you may be able to go straight to a community college and complete an associate’s degree. This may be the best choice for advanced students who plan on attending college anyway. Alternatively, you may decide to take an exam and earn a GED. This choice appeals to students who have several years of remaining high school credits and would prefer a "quick fix." Make sure to weigh all your options before you make a choice. Online School With Adult Programs If you decide that earning an online diploma is the best choice, the next step is to choose an online high school program. Make sure the school you select is accredited by the proper organization. Schools that are regionally accredited are the most widely accepted by employers and colleges. Many employers and colleges also accept credits from schools accredited by the Distance Education Training Council. However, a diploma from these schools will not be as commonly accepted. Make a list of questions to ask each online high school you consider. Find out: Whether the high school has an accelerated program for adults.Whether it provides support for students who need help.How much work you will need to complete. Tuition and Financial Aid If you are in your late teens or early 20s, you may qualify to finish your education at an online charter high school for free (depending on your state law.) Otherwise, you will need to pay for your classes. Ask the online high school you select whether there are any tuition assistance or financial aid programs. Many online high schools offer adult students a tuition payment program that allows payments to be spread out over a semester instead of a lump sum due at the beginning of classes. If tuition is still too steep, you may be able to qualify for an educational loan. Talk to your school and your bank. Complete the Required Courses Finishing your online high school courses may take several years or just a few weeks. As an adult, it can be difficult to manage school responsibilities in addition to a busy life. But know that your sacrifices will be worth it. Once you’ve earned your online high school diploma, take the time to celebrate. Hang your new diploma on the wall. You now qualify for a greater number of jobs and are eligible for more workplace promotions. Plus, you have the personal satisfaction of knowing you completed a worthwhile goal.