How to Get Your High School Diploma Online

For many adults looking to finish high school or for students in special situations that require academic flexibility, the prospect of earning a high school diploma online seems like a perfect fit. And it often is. But the questions still remain, namely: How exactly do you go about getting a diploma online?

The answer's simpler than you might think. Earning your high school diploma online just means that everything you do — tests, papers, even communicating with classmates and teachers — is done via the Internet. You'll log into the school's system to download coursework and any notes or other relevant materials, and this is also how you'll upload completed assignments. You should also know that many online diploma programs don't require you to log in at the same time as the other students, meaning there's no predetermined class time. Rather, you log in on your own schedule, meaning it's entirely in your hands to decide when to study, what to study, and how to structure your time. That kind of flexibility is unmatched by traditional high schools, which require you to conform to a rigid class schedule, even if you're attending classes at night. The benefit of attending school online is that you're free to pursue other interests and manage your life in the way that works for you, which includes maintaining a full-time job. That's also something that's not always feasible if you're enrolled in a brick-and-mortar institution.

Getting your high school diploma online also means attending an accredited school. Being accredited means the school has been approved by investigative agencies as performing at a high level of educational quality. It's also extremely difficult, if not impossible, to continue your education in college and beyond without a legitimate diploma from an accredited school, so it's important that your online high school meet the standards that will help you in the future. The Department of Education as well as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation both monitor accrediting agencies and have databases that can help you find your prospective school and determine if it's a worthwhile institution or a less-than-reputable diploma mill. It's also a good idea to check your school's Web site before enrolling. If they're accredited, they'll want to display that information or make it easy to find. If they aren't accredited, or won't disclose such information, drop them and move on.

The truth of the matter is that earning a diploma online means just that: using a well-made online interface to receive and send in your work, and doing it on your own time. It's a smart educational choice for a variety of students, and a great way to plan for the future.