How Online High School Provides Opportunities for Low-Income Students

Jun 4, 2020 by

Getting an education is something that most people in the United States take for granted. Unfortunately, not everyone has equal access to quality schooling or the ability to attend school all the way through high school.

For many low-income students, getting an education can be an enormous struggle. Many students attend poorly-funded schools, may not be able to get adequate sleep or regular meals, and may not be able to afford school supplies.

Every student faces their own set of challenges. But low-income students often have to fight twice as hard to get the same opportunities. Online high school could help—here’s how.

Value of a High School Diploma vs. a GED

Many students living in poverty don’t finish high school with the rest of their classmates. When that happens, it can be hard to go back and finish up the work to be awarded a diploma.

The good news is that it’s never too late to earn a high school diploma or take the GED (General Educational Development) exam, which are both needed for some jobs or when applying to college. Students now have the option to attend high school online, bypassing the GED exam and earning a diploma instead.

There are some benefits to earning a diploma over a GED. In general, a diploma is considered more valuable than a GED. One of the reasons for this is that students will earn a GPA with their diploma, instead of simply passing the GED exam. This comes in handy when applying to university programs and provides more information to admission committees.

Beyond the value of a high school diploma over a GED, online high school can also be more flexible, making it perfect for low-income students who face numerous obstacles in getting an education.

Value of Education Extends Beyond Just the Classroom 

Reading, writing, and arithmetic are important, but they’re not the only things we learn by attending school. General education helps us to become better critical thinkers, to question, and to seek out information. The value of an education, whether online or in the classroom, extends into every area of life.

One example of this is in health literacy, which is a huge issue for vulnerable populations, like low-income communities. By attending high school, students learn how to seek out and interpret complex information that could lead to them understanding their rights more fully and receiving better healthcare. Research skills, confidence, and comprehension skills learned in school all help to improve health literacy and other life skills.

Online High School Can Provide New Learning Opportunities

One of the biggest advantages of online high school for low-income students is that they may be able to access new learning opportunities. Many schools in low-income areas cannot offer a wide range of class options due to funding limitations.

By attending an online school, students have more options and can follow their interests more easily. If they have specific career goals, they are more likely to be able to build the skills they’ll need in an online program that may be better staffed and have the funding to help students succeed.

Online High School Can Provide Flexibility so Students Can Work

High school students from low-income families often have the need and desire to work and contribute to the financial well-being of their households. Some also need to raise money for their own supplies and necessities. In a traditional high school model, this is extremely difficult.

Students who want to work while attending high school in a classroom setting often sacrifice time in the evenings that could be spent on homework or can’t get enough hours because their employer needs them to work during the day. By attending online high school, students have more flexibility in their schedules and can work more convenient hours.

Less Stress for Students

Overall, online high school can be a great option for low-income students who have access to the internet. Attending classes virtually reduces stress and barriers for students and allows them to do their schoolwork on their own terms. It can also cut down on bullying and other sources of anxiety that can stem from attending a traditional high school.

It’s never too late to finish your high school diploma. Whether you’re a teenager, a single parent, or simply never got a chance to finish school, earning a diploma online could open up lots of doors for you.

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