With the arrival of more and more online high schools in the scenario, it is getting more and more baffling to make the right choice, as far as choosing a proper legitimate and accredited online high school is concerned. There is always the underlying fear amongst the students’ parents as to what if the online school diploma is declined by traditional colleges or potential employers. However, it is an absolute myth since most colleges accept an online high school diploma. However, the sole condition of acceptance is that the diploma has to be a quality diploma from a legit accredited school, especially the one that is regionally accredited.
On a more clearer note, there are two types of accreditations provided to any school or college. An online school’s legitimacy is related to its Accreditation status. Accreditation is a thorough assessment whether a school or college meets the required federal and state standards of education. Accreditation by a regional or a national agency is a genuine measure of authenticity and a guideline for quality that is reliable and has value in the market. Accreditation is evaluated regularly, and a school can lose accreditation if a large number of students don’t meet educational standards for their grade level, there aren’t enough teachers for the students or teachers don’t have necessary educational backgrounds. For high schools, accreditation requirements vary by state. A school that simply lists “accredited” without mentioning who it is accredited by or who accepts that accreditation may not be officially accredited, and you cannot take a chance in such a case, since fake accreditors do exist. Accreditation is the best way to handpick the highest quality schools and prevent yourself from getting scammed. Online schools may be regionally accredited or nationally accredited.
In case of regionally accredited online high school, the term “regional” refers to the area where the accrediting organization operates. There are almost 7 regionally accredited agencies, most of which are pre-eminently non-profit, degree-centric and have more airtight regulations in place for assessment of educational quality and academic standards across regions.
National accreditation is a relatively newer concept. On contrary to regional accreditations, Nationally accredited schools are generally profit oriented or religion affiliated and offer vocational trainings or technical programs. Regulations are not as rigorous. With specialized non-academic focus, they provide both certificates and degrees to students which might not be as valuable as those provided by regionally accredited schools.
This is the basic reason why Regionally accredited online high schools are more widely accepted by colleges and universities (and even by employers) than nationally accredited ones. So pick a school that is regionally accredited, if you want to pursue a career that requires an academic degree. If the online school is not regionally accredited, colleges and universities may discard the diploma as not being legitimate, or they may require the student to take extra courses or to prove their mettle in a standardized test as an admission requirement. All the more, be careful not to end up getting enrolled in a diploma mill.
When researching online high school programs, find out which ones have college or university affiliations. It would make admission into these colleges or universities much easier. Many online high schools also offer dual enrollment programs that allow you to even apply your high school credits towards a college degree. If you intend to go to college immediately after your online high school program, consider choosing a school that has a dual enrollment option.
Learn to identify Degree mills, which typically attract two types of customers:
- Individuals searching for a genuine academic program, who are too innocent to even imagine that they are enrolling at a degree mill.
- Individuals who are aware that they are committing fraud, but want to build their credentials quickly for academic or professional reasons.
The features of a Diploma Mill are:
- Have names similar to well-known schools but fail to mention a genuine accrediting agency
- No screening in admissions; they do not ask anything about your previous education
- Degrees can be earned as less a time period as a month
- No interaction with faculty
Acceptance of Online High School Diploma
Universities all around the country have accepted and will continue to accept high school diplomas from students who have done their work online. However, the key point here is that in order to be widely accepted, a diploma must be a quality diploma that should be derived from an online school that has proper accreditation from the proper regional board. As long as the online high school is accredited, the credits should be able to transfer to a traditional high school. Thus, while reviewing applications, colleges generally do not distinguish between diplomas from online high schools and those from traditional high schools.
The college admissions officer is most concerned about the fact that the student should hold a high school diploma from a regionally accredited and legitimate high school. The various admission requirements set by the schools are such as the number of credit hours completed in the basic subjects, and electives as well. Colleges are mainly concerned with good grades and full proof evidence of the student being a consistent hard worker and excellence-seeker. That is the reason they are immensely impressed by students who have a uniform growth in their performance graph. Colleges then look at what the students do outside of school, like athletic training, part-time or full-time jobs or piano lessons e.t.c. Colleges lead a thorough inspection of the application presented to them by the students. What really matters is that the online high school diploma comes from a school that is properly accredited. College admissions treat bricks and mortar school or a plastic school or an online one equally, as long as it challenged the student in some way or the other. Grades, test scores, community service, and work and life experience are much more impactfull factors in admissions than the high school the student attended, as the college admissions officers are looking for students who will be competent enough to study in the college and maintain good grades.
Make an extra effort to probe to the core before enrolling. If you aspire to join a well-reputed university in the future, then keep away from the risk of getting into a diploma mill. Also, select the best online school for yourself with all the necessary features such as regional accreditation, a teaching method that suits your learning style, expert faculty to abet and aid you at every step and many more.