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The Best Virtual High Schools

4 minute read

By Heather Fishel

With all-time high numbers of students studying at home rather than in the classroom, virtual learning is more popular than ever before. Increasingly more students are taking classes right from their laptops and smartphones, leaving the traditional classroom behind in favor of an at-home option. But are virtual high schools just as good in terms of education as traditional ones? Search online to find the best virtual high school for your child’s education.

Virtual high schools can be just as high in quality as an in-person school. But you’ll need to choose the right online learning environment – just like you needed to choose the right in-person environment. While some high schools are excellent, others may not offer the courses or learning approach that suits your teen. To find the best virtual high schools, search online today.

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Here are some of the best virtual high schools you’ll find online.

Stanford University Online High School

Best For

Advanced students who want challenging courses and the opportunity to take many AP and university-level courses.


$25,670 for full-time students taking four or more courses, $15,400 for part-time students taking two to three courses.1 Approximately 12 percent of students receive financial aid.

What the Online Experience Offers

Stanford University Online High School is a virtual learning environment that’s designed to challenge high school students with college-level coursework. With a wealth of AP classes offered as well as 28 post-AP and university-level classes available to choose from, students can really challenge themselves as they prepare for the next step in their education.

All of the virtual classes taught through Stanford University Online High School are led by experts in their fields. In fact, 64 percent of the teachers have PhDs in their subjects.2

With a student body that covers nearly every state in the country and welcomes international students too, it’s easy to take on challenging courses from anywhere.

University of Texas High School

Best For

Students and parents who want flexible learning options along with the support of a traditional classroom environment.


$260 per course or $3,640 for the school year for full-time students, which includes seven fall classes and seven spring classes.3

What the Online Experience Offers

The University of Texas High School (or UT High School) is an affordable online learning option for students of all different backgrounds. Whether you’re looking for a full-time option that offers a well-rounded selection of courses or need a more supportive environment for unique learning needs, this virtual high school offers it. There are classes available in 60 different subject areas, and students can enroll in both AP and IB classes too.

The core courses offered by UT High School are even NCAA and College Board approved.4 This means you can trust that future athletes and advanced high school students are getting their needs met. Other unique options, like blending learning, support for special student populations, and development programs, are also available.

Laurel Springs School

Best For

Students who are serious about taking college prep courses and mastering AP exams.


Tuition varies depending on the courses your child needs. A full academic year of college prep and electives costs $1,110 per course, while a full year of independent learning costs $700 per course. AP courses cost $1,700 per course if students are enrolled for a full year. The Laurel Springs Academy costs $13,000 per year.5

What the Online Experience Offers

Laurel Springs School has been offering virtual learning since 1991, and it’s almost perfected the art. Many students turn to this online high school to take a course or two. Now, increasingly more students are completing their entire education through Laurel Springs. Offering traditional high school courses as well as 22 AP courses and many honors options, this school has it all.

More importantly, though, Laurel Springs School really prepares students for results. Over 75 percent of the school’s AP test takers earn a score of three or higher, ensuring they get college credit for that test and course.

James Madison High School

Best For

Students looking for convenient ways to get ahead in college, from extra credits to dual enrollment.


Tuition varies depending on the course of study students opt for and if you’re paying for the full year upfront or monthly. On average, it costs between $1,069 and $1,599.6

What the Online Experience Offers

At James Madison High School, there’s a mix of traditional full high school offerings and more advanced options. Students can choose to take basic courses and electives, or they can opt for honors and AP courses. Online college dual enrollment is even an option, allowing students to do double duty as they work to earn college credits early.

James Madison High School also works with nontraditional students. From adult learners to student-athletes to students who are seeking homeschooling, anyone can learn via this online high school.

Search Online to Find the Right Virtual High School

If you’re interested in having your child make the switch to online learning, a virtual high school is the perfect option. With a wealth of resources and course options, plus customization choices with challenging classes like APs and college courses, you can find it all online.

But you’ll need to do your research first. You should search online to consider and compare different virtual high schools. Then, you’ll want to look at their costs to find one that suits your budget. It’s never been easier to start learning online, but you don’t want to skip over the research necessary to find the best school out there.

Heather Fishel