How Much Do You Know About Online High School Diplomas?

successful online high school graduate

By Sarah Stevenson

Finishing a high school diploma can be the first step toward improved job prospects and is a necessary prerequisite for a college education. But high school takes four years, right? Not necessarily. One increasingly viable option—one that makes secondary education more convenient and efficient for adults—is online high school diplomas.

To find out how much you know about online high school diplomas, take this five-question quiz.

  • 5 Correct: Graduate with Honors
  • 3 – 4 Correct: Mandatory Summer School
  • 0 – 2 Correct: Detention

1. What types of students attend online high school?

  1. Online high school is primarily for teenagers, not adults.
  2. Online high school caters to teenage students who have had problems at traditional high schools.
  3. A variety of students seek out and attend online high school, for many different reasons.
  4. Online high school is best for older students seeking to improve their job situation.

2. Which of the following statements about online high school diplomas is false?

  1. If an online high school has been accredited by a regional accrediting agency or the Distance Education Training Council, you can guarantee that it's not a diploma mill.
  2. Online high school diplomas from an accredited institution still might not be accepted by colleges.
  3. You don't have to complete all four years of high school through online school studies—you can just focus on selected years or specific courses.
  4. Coursework in online high school diploma programs can be just as challenging and interactive as an in-person program.

3. Complete this sentence. An online high school diploma is:

  1. Expensive
  2. Isolating
  3. Not as difficult as traditional high school
  4. A good investment

4. True or False: Employers accept online high school diplomas as readily as traditional diplomas.

  1. True
  2. False

5. True or False: A GED and an online high school diploma are the same thing.

  1. True
  2. False


1. c, There are online high schools suitable not only for teenage students seeking to get ahead of the game or "troubled" kids who didn't succeed in traditional programs, but also for students interested in a specific subject focus, those looking for a particular religious affiliation—and for adults who may have limited hours during which they can attend class.

2. b, As long as your online high school diploma is from a regionally accredited institution, you should have no trouble having it recognized by colleges or universities. A diploma from a school accredited by the DETC (Distance Education and Training Council) is just as legitimate, but some schools put more faith in regional accreditation

3. d, Finishing your high school diploma is always a good investment. It doesn't have to be expensive or isolating—in fact, some online public high school programs are completely free—and for those who like a challenge, you can seek out a program that offers just the right level of difficulty.

4. True, Employers accept online high school diplomas from accredited institutions just as they accept traditional high school diplomas. Some employers may require certain types of accreditation, so be sure to check whether the program you're interested in is acceptable.

5. False, A GED, also known as the General Educational Development test, is a series of five subject exams administered by the American Council on Education. The exams do not require preliminary coursework, though exam prep classes are available. Most colleges and employers will readily accept a GED, though some regard a high school diploma as preferable. A high school diploma, online or traditional, requires students to complete a specific program of coursework.