With the advancement of the Internet comes choices on everything from movie theaters to textbook purchases. As more and more people become plugged into the web, more and more schools are beginning to offer programs to receive your “high school diploma” online. While some of these programs are offered in conjunction with physical schools, others are entirely online. It can be hard to make a choice as to what kind and type of program you need and want, but no matter what type of program you decide on, there are some things that you should always research before making a final decision.
Consider reviewing the programs in the following categories: academic quality, cost/value, and reputation and transparency. Researching each of these elements does not take long and can not only help you find the best program for you but also save you time and money wasted in chasing bad programs.
Academic quality is a significant variable. When you know your specific need you can decide if a program will meet those needs while delivering essential curriculum that is viewed by others as credible. A High School Equivalency program often mirrors the format of a state GED program while a traditional high school/home school would meet the state high school graduation standards. These curriculum sets are significantly different as is completion time for both. Utilization of the completion certificates are also significantly different. Know your objectives when making this choice as your time, cost and benefits will vary significantly from one program to another.
Cost/Value is one of the easiest metrics to review. This variable generally sorts itself our quickly after you check your time frame, the program requirements, and the upfront and overall costs. Make sure that there is a solid guarantee posted and that you are comfortable that they school will stand behind their promises. Simple or accelerated program formats can serve real value but please remember that there is no “silver bullet”. It really boils down to two levels of programs, traditional or equivalency (including the GED). Know your budget and review the program and payment terms before committing.
Finally, run several SEO searches to see what other students are saying about a particular program. Reputation and transparency are both things you should investigate in a possible program. A simple Google search will help you find out what others say about your school and what the general reputation of the program is. A scan of the school website will tell you if there is a real business and administrative team behind this “website” and how transparent they are with information. If you cannot find administrative information, a physical address, phone number or fax number, real-time support tools like chat and the website just says “we are online” then you are best to keep looking! If you do find real contact information, contact them several different ways (call/e-mail/visit) and note their response type and time.
All of these little checks can make the different in you completing a quality program that meets your objectives, otherwise you will have spent time and money with little to show for your effort in the end. We are confident in our programs here at Franklin Virtual Schools and encourage you to research us using the above steps to see what a quality school will look like.
If you decide that one of our programs, such as ESPlearning, will best meet your needs and wants, we look forward to helping you reach your education goals.