Resources › For Students and Parents Public Online High Schools Free Distance Learning Options For Teens Share Flipboard Email Print Public online schools are a no-cost alternative for teens. Hero Images / 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 September 03, 2017 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.