How is Online High School Viewed by College Admissions?

Any high school student interested in attending college is probably wondering how institutions of higher education view online high school. Will it be a pro or a con on applications? A class here or there is one thing, but what about a student decides to take all their high school classes through a virtual education program? In this article, we will set your mind at ease. 

A young woman standing in front of an admissions building

The Shift to Online Learning and What it Means for College

One thing to keep in mind is that when the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic shut down all schools across the country and forced a rapid shift to online learning, this also applied to the campuses of colleges and universities, so they do feel your pain, and that’s going to go a long way toward a more positive view of online learning because they’re all in the same boat. Every college and university campus is also struggling right now to choose the right path forward for the coming school year. 

Right now 10% are planning for online only (including Harvard University, California State University), 32% are going with a hybrid or blended model that mixes in-person and online (Indiana University, MIT, Duke University), and 53% are planning on in-person operations (Perdue University, Ivy Tech Community College, Vincennes University). The remaining 5% honestly don’t know what they’re doing yet. But the point here is that institutions of higher education understand there is still going to be a whole lot more online learning while the pandemic continues, and they will account for that in their admissions process.

Colleges Know the Types of Students Who Thrive Online

Most colleges and universities have had a lot more experience with online classes, virtual courses, digital technologies, and distance learning programs than the average K-12 school district. And they know perfectly what kinds of student does well in the virtual learning education environment. From our own years of experience offering virtual classes, we know that the student who does best exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Organized.
  • Self-disciplined.
  • Communicative.
  • Prepared.
  • Are encouraged and motivated by family and/or parental support.

These are all high on the list of desirable characteristics for any college or university, and they will see those characteristics in the application and interview process for admission, whether your high school learning happened in the traditional setting, online, or both. There is many a misconception about online high school out there in the public, but in the coming years it is not something you need to worry about when it comes to the college admissions process. It won’t be seen as a liability. If anything, your success completion of online classes will be seen as an asset. 

It’s About the Quality of the Learning, not the Delivery Method

Given that the vast majority of colleges and universities welcome homeschoolers with open arms, when it comes to admissions it’s not so much about how or where the learning took place, but that it was a quality education in an accredited program. They want to know the high school you attended is approved and regulated through a state department of education. Whether it was a traditional physical school setting or online doesn’t really come into play as long as a student has the kinds of grades they want to see in core subjects, electives, extracurricular activities, community service, and so on. And if part of the reason you’re considering an online high school program is because of real-world work obligations, those kinds of experiences will also be viewed favorably. Even better would be to take advantage of Advanced Education Opportunities in Online School

Many institutions of higher education will also want to see that online high school students had adequate one-on-one support from teachers. If the virtual education program is little more than an electronic place to pick up assignments and drop them off when completed, that won’t do you any favors. They want to know you had substantial interactions with instructors. Generally speaking, as long as it’s a quality learning program, most colleges and universities are welcoming and widely accepting online high schools as alternatives to traditional school. 

Online High School Leading to Indiana Diplomas with Achieve Virtual

Achieve Virtual offers an online education program for high school students that provides instruction in every subject needed to get an Indiana Core 40 or Core 40 with Academic Honors diploma, including language arts, math, science, business, health, world languages, health and physical education, social studies, and technology. Coursework is completed with instruction and support by a real Indiana teacher in each class who is both certified to teach in their subject area and who wants to see their students succeed. 

Our classes are open to both teenagers of high school age and adult learners who need greater flexibility in when and where their schooling takes place, whether for convenience or for health and safety in the midst of the pandemic. All they need is a personal computer (desktop or laptop) and access to a good internet connection. Students enrolled with a full-time status pay nothing at all—your online education with Achieve Virtual is free. Part-time students pay modest fees for their courses, though in many cases there are sources that offer help for those costs. 

Our online high school is recognized by the Indiana Department of Education, and all our courses are fully aligned with state curriculum standards. Every credit you earn through Achieve Virtual represents a quality, rigorous education meeting all the requirements that go into an Indiana high school diploma. And it’s available to any learner in any community throughout the state. 

Registration is now open for the fall 2020 semester, which begins on August 12! We anticipate filling up quickly, so now is the time to enroll. If you have a question you’d like to ask or need more information about our online high school program, please feel free to call our office at 317-988-7144. We’re always ready and happy to be of service to you!

Is Online High School Right For You?

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