Why Do Teens Enroll in Online High Schools?

Flexibility and Early Graduation are Just 2 Advantages

Every year, more teens and their parents choose online high schools. Why ditch traditional brick-and-mortar programs for online courses? Here are the top eight reasons that teens and their families choose this alternative form of learning.

01
of 08

Teens Can Make Up Missed Credits

Student using a computer
VikramRaghuvanshi/E+/Getty Images

When students fall behind in traditional schools, it can be difficult to make up missed credits while keeping up with the required coursework. Flexible online high schools let teens make up courses. These students have two options: some teens choose to enroll to take classes online while still attending their regular high school, while other students decide to move completely to the virtual realm to finish their coursework.

02
of 08

Motivated students can get ahead and graduate early

With online learning, motivated teens don’t need to be held back by classes that must take four years to complete. Instead, they can choose an online high school that allows students to finish courses as fast as they are able to complete the coursework. Many online high school graduates have earned their diplomas and moved on to ​college one or two years ahead of their peers.

03
of 08

Flexibility for students with unusual schedules

Young people involved in consuming activities such as professional acting or sports often have to miss classes for work-related events. As a result, they end up constantly juggling work and school, while struggling to catch up with their peers. However, these talented teens can complete online high school courses during their down time (which may be later in the evening or during pre-dawn hours, instead of during traditional school hours).

04
of 08

Struggling teens can get away from negative peer groups

Troubled teens may want to make a lifestyle change, but find it difficult to alter their behavior while surrounded by former friends who have not made this commitment. By learning online, teens are able to get away from the temptations presented by their peers at school. Instead of trying to withstand and overcome the pressure of seeing these students every day, they have the opportunity to make new friends based on shared interests rather than shared locations.

05
of 08

Students work at their own pace

By choosing a flexible online high school, teens control the tempo of their learning. They can speed ahead when they feel confident with the coursework, and take longer when they are dealing with subjects they find confusing. Instead of struggling to keep up or sitting bored waiting for the class, the individual nature of online schools allows teens to progress through coursework at a pace that accommodates their strengths and weaknesses.

06
of 08

Students can focus and avoid distractions

Some students find it difficult to focus on their education when surrounded by the distractions of traditional schools. Online high schools help students focus on academics and save socializing for their off hours. Sometimes students study online for a semester or two to get back on track before re-enrolling in a traditional high school.

07
of 08

Online high schools let teens escape bullying

Bullying is a serious problem in traditional schools. When school officials and other parents turn a blind eye to a child that is being tormented on school property, some families choose to withdraw their teen from the situation by enrolling him in an online program. Online high schools can be a permanent academic home for bullied teens or they can be a temporary solution while parents find an alternative public or private school where their child is protected.

08
of 08

Allows access to programs not available locally

Virtual programs give students in rural or disadvantaged urban areas the ability to learn from a top-notch curriculum that may not be available locally. Elite online high schools such as Stanford University's Education Program for Talented Youth (EPGY) are competitive and have high acceptance rates from top-tier colleges.

There are a variety of reasons why teens and their parents need an alternative source of education. However, online learning can meet these needs.