Legit Online High School Diploma Programs

  • Last Post 16 August 2018
admin posted this 06 May 2011 - Last edited 31 October 2016

I would like to get a High School Diploma, but I'm not sure what program/school is trustworthy and would be widely accepted. I am 26 years old and was home-schooled, graduating with no official diploma. I have looked into Penn Foster (only Nationally accredited), Stratford Career Institute and Excel HS. Any suggestions? Thank you.

VickyPhillips posted this 09 May 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Hi Kimberly,

What state do you live in? The first step is to look for public online high schools in your state -- many of these are FREE. And to also consider if you state has any free online GED courses and programs -- many do.

Tell us what state you reside in and we'll research to see if there are any free or low cost options for you.

In general, you will want an online or virtual high school that is a) regionally accredited as opposed to nationally accredited if possible since this type of accreditation is more widely accepted.

Three 3 online high schools you mentioned are only nationally accredited or not accredited by any recognized agency at all; and they also very expensive private, for profit virtual options. One of the schools, Stratford was recently required to cease operations in the state of Vermont where they had used a St. Albans VT mailing address to solicit students.

Let's start by looking at public and free or low cost non profit programs in your state. Which state?

Also, are you willing to consider a GED program as many states have these free also!

Vicky Phillips GetEducated.com

admin posted this 10 May 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Thank you so much for your helpfulness. I live in Iowa. And yes, I am willing to consider a GED. I was looking into the HS Diploma because it seems that some college options and job openings won't settle for a GED. I have a HS Diploma and so does my husband, but we were both home-schooled so it's not an official diploma with transcripts to back it. I am hoping to become a legal or medical transcriptionist and some of the courses I've looked into for that say they require a HS Diploma-however, I haven't checked many places and that may not be true across the board.

VickyPhillips posted this 10 May 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

RE: Iowa Public High School - GED Online

Hi K,

You'll want to connect with the trustworthy public state agencies in Iowa (listed below) and ask them to help you with your virtual high school diploma and/or GED quest.

The agencies below can also steer you to the best low cost online courses and degree programs from Iowa community colleges and state universities.

If there is a better distance learning diploma program for you in a neighboring state counselors at the agencies below can help you find these programs well as answer your concerns about high school diploma vs. GED online.

While it is true that some college level ed programs require a diploma rather than a GED it is also true that most regionally accredited college programs accept a GED. The issue you may encounter more often with a GED is the better college programs will require you to score "higher" on the GED than just "passing." You will want to discuss this issue with a counselor at one of the Iowa state projects detailed below:

1) Iowa Learning Online State of Iowa public courses and connections for high school level courses and distance learning for high school students. The ILO Web site provides a list of online and Iowa Communications Network (ICN) video courses that are available to eligible Iowa high school students in grades 9-12. ILO serves as the official clearinghouse of high school course offerings, making it easier for educators and students to find the best courses to meet educational needs. The Web site is a centralized location for Iowa distance learning providers such as local school districts, post-secondary institutions (community colleges, regent universities, independent colleges/universities) and area education agencies to post information on distance learning courses to a variety of Iowa students.

2) http://www.kirkwood.edu/hsdl">Kirkwood Community College - Online High School Public Iowa community college with distance learning courses.

3) Adult Literacy - (free video GED courses for Iowa residents) GED Connection Online

Since you do have a home schooled high school diploma I imagine you'd find the GED very passable with some prep and orientation as to test content.

Fortunately, the state of Iowa offers FREE online GED prep to Iowa residents and also has several scholarship programs earmarked just for GED holdres that can be used at Iowa Community Colleges.

Hawkeye Community College Online sponsors a FREE GED prep online for Iowa residents AND top GED score students, "valedictorian and salutatorians" are eligible for scholarships to Hawkeye Community College.

Below are some details:

General Education Development (GED) Students are required to attend an orientation session prior to enrolling in the GED program. They then study at an individualized pace with qualified instructors. An online GED study class is available for students with qualifying pre-test scores. Classes and pre-tests are tuition free. Students study to pass the five subtests of the GED Test: Literature, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies. GED official testing is offered at the Metro Center on Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday evenings, and Thursday mornings at a cost of $70, which includes all five tests and the GED diploma. The past four years GED graduates have each received a "Next Step" Scholarship to continue their education at Hawkeye Community College. Each graduate was given a scholarship entitling them to receive three college credits free of charge when they registered for six or more credits. Other scholarships available to GED students are the "We Believe in You", "Naomi Sadler" and "Rater GED". Full scholarships to HCC are awarded to the GED valedictorian and salutatorian.

4) For future college level degrees and courses from public colleges in Iowa, check out the University of Iowa Online Learning and Degree Programs as well as their partner community colleges for 2 year and certificate options through distance learning.

Good Luck Out There! Vicky Phillips

admin posted this 11 May 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Thank you so much for your help. I will look into that info and let you know how I do when I take my GED test. :-)

EHS posted this 13 September 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015


The GED or a High School Equivalency Certificate is a great option for adults to complete a high school credential. Unless you are considering attending a four year university, such as Dartmouth, Stanford, etc. you would be well served to obtain a GED or a High School Equivalency Certificate, and attend a local community college. Community Colleges warmly welcome the GED or a High School Equivalency Certificate for admissions. Even after attending a 2-year community college, with a good GPA, you will easily be able to transfer into a 4-year university; such as Iowa State.

Likewise, most employers that require a high school diploma will also accept a GED or a High School Equivalency Certificate as proof of high school completion. Again, enrolling into a post secondary school will also help you secure better employment in the future. Don't let the fact that you were home schooled hold you back. It is widely recognized that homeschooled children are among the some of the brightest students in the nation. When choosing a school to complete a High School Equivalency Certificate, just be sure they are accredited, so your diploma will have value. There are some good online options available.

TheExpert posted this 19 September 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Most employers won't even think about your application in the event you cannot tell them, honestly, that you have achieved your high school diploma online. Advantages abound as far as the free high school diploma online courses are concerned. Another benefit of having your high school diploma online is the fact that it is possible for you to advance within the job of your choice based on that single document. A golden chance has arisen for these individuals with the free high school diploma online programs. Every time you drop out of school, you seldom receive a second opportunity. Every time you enroll on a free high school diploma online, you will have the ability to discover & excel. One final benefit of having a high school diploma online is that you can expect to earn extra funds than your counterparts without a high school diploma online.

knowpronto posted this 22 June 2012 - Last edited 06 August 2015


My name is Callum Landseer. I have passed my plus two examination.I am confused on how to choose the course which is beneficial for me in the future.Can you tell me information about online course?

vicky posted this 22 June 2012 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Hi Callum,

What country are you located in? What level of education are you seeking? Can you tell us more about what type of online courses you are seeking and what you are studying. You mention passing a "plus two," so I assume you are not studying in the USA. Tell us more about your situation.

All the best Vicky

knowpronto wrote: [quote]Hi,

My name is Callum Landseer. I have passed my plus two examination.I am confused on how to choose the course which is beneficial for me in the future.Can you tell me information about online course?[/quote]

imarios posted this 19 October 2012 - Last edited 06 August 2015


I'm looking for an online high school. To be more specific, I am searching for something that is related to music. I'm from Romania (Europe) and I'm 20 years old. I had some problems in the past, and unfortunately I didn't finish my local high school. Now, I don't have time to go to a classic school because I'm working and, I've found online school very attractive. So, what will you recommend for me?

VickyPhillips posted this 19 October 2012 - Last edited 21 October 2015

Hi Marios,

First, make sure you attend a real accredited online high school as there are MANY-MANY fake high school diploma mill scams and get your GED online scams.

Be extra careful in choosing an online high school.

Rule 1 -- attend ONLY a high school that is accredited by an agency recognized by the US Dept of Education.

Why attend an Accredited Virtual High School? Credit recognition and transfer Quality standards National recognition for applying to any college later or for employment later.

For example, the virtual high school operated by the University of Nebraska online is regionally accredited by the North Central Association since 1978 and recognized by the Nebraska State Department of Education since 1967. That's a solid choice for a recognized accredited high school diploma.

Here are some online high schools to check out to get started:
University of Nebraska Virtual High School - http://highschool.unl.edu/
University of Missouri Virtual High School - http://muhigh.missouri.edu/

These schools can also help you understand how your foreign courses/credits will transfer to an American high school diploma. You will need help in that area to determine equivalency and transfer credits.

What state do you live in and are you an American citizen? There are a number of free public virtual high schools and these vary by state and your age/enrollment status as to whether you might enroll in any of these.

For example, the largest FREE virtual high school is in Florida. Florida Virtual High School is 100% free to Florida residents. Others must pay a tuition to attend. Florida Virtual High School - http://www.flvs.net/

Tell us more an we may be able to better guide you on a list of choices or concerns.

Be Well,

Vicky Phillips

GetEducated.com Founder

All Online Colleges and High Schools Are Not Alike
Get Educated BEFORE You Enroll! 

dezorr posted this 17 September 2013 - Last edited 06 August 2015

hi i was reading in the forum and saw that you guys were able to help other people in my situation so i figure i would give it a try. I'm 26 and live in eastlake/cleveland, ohio and attend horizon science academy was supposed to graduate in 2005. I only needed 20 credits to graduate and i have 22 credits but couldn't gradute because the school required geometry as required credit but didn't tell me until close to th end of my senior year. So a teacher told me a belford high school and i got my diploma from them and started working from to 2005 until this past june. I was trying to go college this fall when i found out my belford diploma was a fake. So question is should i go for my GED or pursue a high school diploma. Thanks for your help in advance

Kayleigh posted this 18 September 2013 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Hi there,

First, make sure that any online high school you choose is accredited by an agency recognized by the US Dept. of Education.

There are a couple of free online high schools for residents of Ohio but they only offer full-time enrollment and do not allow for students to complete leftover courses needed to graduate.

There are, however, other online high schools that do allow for you to take only the courses you need.

Check out the University of Missouri High School online. Unfortunately, these courses are not free but you can complete them on your own time, either in a self-paced format or attached to a semester timetable.

Be sure to verify that your credit will transfer with your admissions counselor and your old high school.

If you decide to get your GED, keep in mind that the GED exam is currently UNAVAILABLE online and someone telling you otherwise should be a red flag.

Make sure to review the signs of a GED scam.

Also, review Ohio's FAQ about getting your GED for test sites and other resources.

Best of luck!


dezorr posted this 23 September 2013 - Last edited 06 August 2015

thank you so much for the help i really appreciate it. i found VCS Ohio what do you think of them. http://www.vcslearn.org/enroll/part-time/adult-second-chance/

Kayleigh posted this 30 September 2013 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Hi again!

Check out what others have to say about the school by searching "VCS Ohio reviews" for opinions from previous students.

Also, make sure to speak with an admissions counselor once you have submitted your high school transcript to verify what requirements you need to graduate.

Good luck!

Kayleigh GetEducated.com

Lashawn0524 posted this 06 September 2016

Hello I'm currently living in florida and wanting to obtain my GED or high school diploma. Is there any online classes that I can take that help me with this. thank you

zaynab72 posted this 14 September 2016

I would like to get a High School Diploma, but I'm not sure what program/school is trustworthy and would be widely accepted. I am 26 years old and was home-schooled, graduating with no official diploma. I have looked into Penn Foster (only Nationally accredited), Stratford Career Institute and Excel HS. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Ammy posted this 20 September 2016

Hi there.

I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to ask my question, as this does not relate to an adult, but here goes. I want my child to complete his high school program online. We are based in the Middle East. The choice of schools is killing me.... with different websites giving top honours to different schools. I have however rounded it down to 4. Can please someone tell me which online school is better out of these 4: American High School, James Madison, Indiana Univeristy and Laurel Springs?

My sister is in the same predicament as me and she contacted the American High School and after previewing some of their content - the links weren't working, so she emailed them and received no response. That has kind of put me off them. My other issue is COST. Whilst I'm not just looking for the cheapest, I afraid I can't pay Stanford prices. Many thanks in advance.

lovelywife23 posted this 05 June 2017


lolafaye123 posted this 05 July 2017

i am 18 years old and need to get a highschool diploma as soon as possible. the problem is that all the places i go to enroll in online, they all need proof of residence or need a fee to be paid. i can not give either of those due to personal issues. i need help as soon as possible. this is really important for me


JustJeepin3 posted this 11 July 2017

GetEducated, I have been in the same boat for quite some time. I'm from West Virginia. I have checked into or tried every avenue that I know of. Still have no helpful information. I would be extremely thankful for either a GED or regular Diploma as College is the plan. And hopeful soon as 40 is just around the corner! Any help you could give me would be MUCH APPRECIATED...

rodclarkson posted this 24 August 2017

You asked about Stratford Career Institute. SCI is not accredited and their diploma is not widely accepted. Excel High School, is regionally accredited and recognized by the State Department of Education. If you are seeking a Christian based curiculum, Northgate Academy Online High School offers a wonderful, online high school diploma program.

jeshaw81 posted this 18 September 2017

What is the expert's opinion on International Connections Academy?

We are considering this for my 16 year old daughter, who will go to college (4 year university).



samsgirl98 posted this 09 October 2017

Looking to get my ged or high school diploma online. Any schools online do that

samsgirl98 posted this 09 October 2017

Looking to get my ged or high school diploma online. Any schools online do that

Angie Moreno posted this 16 August 2018

Hi, my name in Angie and i´m looking for a high school online accredited, my daugther is citizen but we are living in Colombia, she is 16 and is in 10° grade but she wanna go to USA to study university, so is very important that she finish her school in a accredited high school, specially in New Yorkdo you know some school online with low cost or public school for citizen childs living in other countries?