Why Do Teens Enroll in Online High Schools?

Flexibility and Early Graduation Are Just 2 Advantages

Every year, more teens and their parents choose to enroll in online high schools. Why ditch traditional brick-and-mortar programs for online courses? Here are eight reasons why teens and their families choose this alternative form of schooling.

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Teens Can Make Up Missed Credits

Student using a computer
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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 can make it easier for teens to make up courses. Students who choose this path have two options: take classes online to catch up while still attending their regular high school or move completely to the virtual realm to finish their coursework.

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Motivated Students Can Get Ahead

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

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Students Can Take the Time They Need

Most students do not take to every subject equally, and there will likely be topics in a curriculum that are more challenging than others. Just as online high schools enable students to move quickly through lessons they find straightforward, teens can take their time to work through the concepts they don't grasp as easily. Instead of struggling to keep up with the class and potentially falling behind, students can use the individual nature of online schools to progress through coursework at a pace that accommodates their weaknesses.

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Students With Unusual Schedules Have Flexibility

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 are forced to juggle work and school while also struggling to catch up with their peers. Online high schools are beneficial to these talented teens who can complete their courses on their own schedules (which may mean later in the evening or during pre-dawn hours, instead of during traditional school hours).

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Struggling Teens Can Get Away From Negative Peer Groups

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

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Students Can Focus and Avoid Distractions

Some students find it difficult to focus on their education when surrounded by the distractions of traditional schools, like social pressures. Online high schools help students focus on academics and save socializing for their off-hours.

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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 who is being tormented on school property, some families choose to withdraw their teen from the situation by enrolling them 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 will be protected.

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There Is Access to Programs Not Available Locally

Virtual programs give students in rural or disadvantaged urban areas the ability to learn from top-notch curricula 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.