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Online Schools: High School Diploma Programs

Online Schools: High School Diploma Programs

by Shannon Lee
February 25, 2011

There was a time when a high school diploma was considered a luxury. Your grandparents probably remember the days when finishing school wasn't as important as helping the family out on the farm or getting hands-on experience in a particular trade. But times change, and today a high school diploma is a necessity.

Why a high school diploma?

Pursuing your high school diploma can open the door to many jobs you might not have been eligible for without that piece of paper in hand. A 2010 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the higher your educational attainment, the better your chances are of higher income and lower unemployment rate.

The study found that those who did not have a high school diploma made a median weekly income of $454, while those who had completed high school made a median weekly income of $626. When it came to unemployment, those without a diploma saw a whopping 14.6 percent unemployment rate, compared to the more favorable 9.7 percent unemployment rate of those who had their high school diploma.

Options through online schools

As you narrow down your options for a online high school diploma, keep some points in mind. First, the program must be accredited in order to give you the full benefits of the diploma. Attending a program that is not accredited could mean that when you choose to move on to college, your diploma might not be recognized.

Second, look at online schools that work closely with local high schools and colleges. For instance, the virtual arm of your local high school could be a great way to get a hybrid education--you can take courses online but if you need further help or opt for classroom instruction, the brick-and-mortar school is nearby to help. Advancements in communication technology also help fuel the growth of online high schools.

Finally, look into financial aid. There are numerous scholarships and grants available to help you pay for online schools. Several state and federal programs are in place for those who chose to go back to school and pursue their diploma or GED diploma.