The Pros and Cons of Online High School

Weighing out the advantages and disadvantages of attending an online high school? Here is a list of pros and cons to help get you started.

There are three types of online high schools, each with additional upsides and accompanying downsides.

  • State funded
  • Virtual charter schools
  • Privately funded

Make sure to also consider the differences between private and public schools - most of the same principles apply to virtual high schools. The list below is designed to be a general comparison that will apply to most online schools, no matter the type.

Online High School Pros and Cons List

A virtual high school student and a school building

Students can work at their own paceLess disciplined and mature students may struggle with freedom
No dangers of violence in schoolLess social interaction and no required socialization
Reduced peer pressure to use cigarettes, drugs, and alcoholLess interaction with fellow peers may encourage isolated or anti-social feelings
Ability to focus on the difficult subjects and breeze through the easy onesIndividualized learning speeds removes a student's opportunity to learn from others
Sometimes disciplined students can graduate faster than traditional high schoolThe student misses out on the wholesome experience of graduating with a "class"
Fewer distractions which leads to less wasted timeMost online schools don't have the fun aspects of schools like clubs, graduation, or prom
Some online schools can integrate specialization studies into the curriculumSome students find it challenging to focus without a present teacher to encourage them.
Some virtual academies operate without a school year calendarAlthough flexible, some students want to be "free" when their friends are
Reduced obstacles to learning (like snow days, holidays, lines)Other, just as difficult, obstacles may arise for some families
Learn whenever and whereverSome subjects (like math) are more difficult to learn and teach online without a teacher at hand

Do the pros outweigh the cons?

If you think so, here is more info for anyone interested in attending a public online high school. Does your child need to change schools? These are the most important warning signs.

Maybe an online school isn't the answer, but there are still plenty of alternatives to public school.