Public Online High Schools

Free Distance Learning Options For Teens

Public online schools are a no-cost alternative for teens.
Public online schools are a no-cost alternative for teens. Hero Images / Getty Images

Many states offer public online high schools to interested teens. Public online high schools are free to residents and are usually accredited by the proper regional board. These programs are only open to students living in their district or state boundaries. Unlike ​online charter schools (which are also considered public schools), state-controlled online programs tend to have greater stability and government support.

Public Online High School Accreditation

Public online high schools are generally overseen by their state’s department of education and tend to be regionally accredited. Before enrolling in a program, be sure to verify its accreditation. Some newer programs may not have received accreditation reviews.

Public Online High School Costs

Public online high schools are funded by the government and charge no tuition. Some of these virtual programs will even pay for a student’s curriculum, computer, and internet fees.

Public Online High School Pros

Students attending public online high schools are often able to earn a regionally accredited diploma at no cost. Their parents don’t need to worry about paying for expensive private virtual programs which can cost upwards of $1,500 a year. State-wide online public schools are generally working with the state’s education department. Unlike online charter schools, they are generally not viewed as a threat by local districts.

They tend to be more stable and receive less public scrutiny.

Public Online High School Cons

Most public online high schools adhere to a strict curriculum and schedule. They are less flexible than the majority of online charter schools and private programs. Students attending public online high schools may not have access to many of the extracurricular activities and curriculum choices available through other alternatives.

Public Online High School Profiles

You can find information about programs in your area in the state-by-state list of public online high schools.

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Littlefield, Jamie. "Public Online High Schools." ThoughtCo, Sep. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/public-online-high-schools-1098454. Littlefield, Jamie. (2017, September 3). Public Online High Schools. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/public-online-high-schools-1098454 Littlefield, Jamie. "Public Online High Schools." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/public-online-high-schools-1098454 (accessed January 20, 2018).