Preparing for College: 5 Reasons Why Virtual School May Be More Beneficial

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Why Virtual School May Be More Beneficial

When it comes to enrolling your college-bound child in high school, you may be considering online school. But is online school good for college prep? 

It's natural to favor traditional teaching methods if that's how you were educated. But it's worth considering whether your child could benefit from a more personalized learning approach that encourages students to take responsibility for their education. A high-quality virtual school can give students a new academic perspective—and may better prepare them for college and the future. 

If you're thinking about switching to online high school or enrolling in part-time online courses to supplement your child's education, below are five ways that virtual school can benefit students on their college journey. 

College Prep for Online School Students

Not only is online school good for college prep academically, but online high school teaches soft skills that prepare students for a college education and future career. 

Here are 5 reasons why virtual school may be more beneficial than brick-and-mortar school to college-bound students.

1. Online high school lets you choose from a wide selection of courses.

One of the perks of being an online student is getting to take courses that may not be available at their local public school. Online courses can also cover unique and engaging topics, such as game design or astronomy. If you’re wondering if colleges like online high school on applications, know that online high school can offer a broader range of course offerings that your student may not otherwise have access to such as AP courses that can enhance transcripts for a college application and may help them earn college credits. 

Having more course options also helps to stimulate and broaden a student’s interests, especially when they are still trying to decide on a college major or looking through a college course catalog. The variety of options in online school is exciting for students who want to explore topics of interest more in depth. 

2. Online high school helps students learn time management.

When students take online courses, they have more scheduling flexibility than they would have at a brick-and-mortar school. In online school, they're not required to attend class at the same time every day or week. Therefore, they can complete their work at a time that works best for them. 

With flexible scheduling, students have to learn to manage their academic and personal time wisely. By managing their time, they also practice prioritization and organization—skills that are necessary in college and the workforce. 

3. Online high school exposes students to online work.

With the daily advancements in technology, colleges are offering more online courses in addition to traditional ones. Plus, college professors who teach in-person courses often incorporate online work into the curriculum by holding tests and quizzes online and having students participate in online forums outside of the classroom. Taking high school courses online gives students a head start on getting familiar with technology and online work before they get to college. 

With the increase in remote work, or workshifting, taking online classes exposes students to the technology and skills required to work in a remote job in the future if that’s an interest of theirs. 

4. Online high school gives students more practice communicating.

Since the teacher isn't physically in front of them, students learn to be assertive and engaged when reaching out to a teacher for assistance. The effort helps students to develop their communication skills for college courses and a career path—and it is especially useful for students who are timid and reserved. 

Just as in college, teachers and students in virtual school often communicate with one another via email and online forums. By sending frequent communications in an online course, students learn how to communicate effectively with their teachers and fellow students. This is a lesson that they will find valuable for the remainder of their academic journey and beyond. 

5. Online high school can be a boost in responsibility

Online students have teachers and a Learning Coach—a parent or another responsible adult to guide them on a daily basis. However, they tend to be more in control of their learning because of customized scheduling and increased flexibility. Having more academic control inspires them to be self-disciplined and responsible learners, which is essential to succeed in college. 

Since students in virtual school can't rely on a bell or an in-person teacher to keep them going throughout the school day, they are required to take more initiative when it comes to completing their schoolwork. As a result, they get a realistic and constructive introduction to the life of a college student. 

How do colleges view online high school?

Does online high school look bad for college? College admissions tend to view an online, public high school education comparably to a traditional, public high school. 

Taking online courses helps students to develop drive, self-sufficiency, and confidence—in addition to academics! By providing a "test drive" of more independent learning, virtual school can be a great way to prepare students for college.   

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