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How to Transfer from Public School to Online School

Written by Nicole Krempasky on Wednesday, 13 January 2021. Posted in Helpful Tips, Traditional Students

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If you’re thinking about switching from a traditional public high school to an online school, you might be wondering how difficult it is and what exactly you have to do to transfer over. James Madison has some helpful tips to get you started.

Why choose online school?

There are a lot of different reasons why students choose to transfer to online schools, but one major motive is often flexibility. Traditional high schools put you on a set schedule, in terms of day-to-day timing to assignments. Online high school diplomas like those at James Madison are self-paced, so they’re completed when and where it’s convenient for you.

If you work better in the morning, you can start and finish your day early. If you’re more of a night owl, work on your studies in the evening. Assignments have no deadlines, either. If you feel more confident mastering a subject before working on a new one, you can choose to take your online classes in that way. These perks benefit students in military families, those who have jobs, are chronically ill, or students who are just looking to have a little more say in their academics.

How to transfer to an online school

Though transferring schools can be easy, there are a few important steps you’ll need to take.

  • Know the admissions requirements. Find out what your online school requires to admit you as a student. To start courses in the 9th through 12th grade curriculum at JMHS, you must be at least 14 years of age. There’s no maximum age, though, making it an option for adult learners, too.
  • Choose your program. In addition to the General Diploma Program, JMHS offers other online options for high school students. If you want to get a jumpstart on college classes, you may want to consider the College Prep Diploma track where you’ll have additional, more academically rigorous online classes that can help put you on the right track for college. Or, if you’re career-minded, the Career Pathways track can help you earn real-world job skills for in-demand careers. After choosing the track that works best for your goals, JMHS has academic advisors and state-certified teachers on hand to help you through it.
  • Enroll at JMHS. Enrollment at JMHS is easy! Just fill out the online enrollment and payment form or give us a call at 1-800-349-6861. Because online classes are self-paced, enrollment is open so you don’t have to worry about missing a deadline and waiting for another chance.
  • Unenroll from your public school. Find out what is required from your public school district to officially unenroll. This can vary from state to state, but district offices or individual schools should be able to answer your questions and help you get the paperwork started.
  • Get your transcripts. JMHS doesn’t want you to lose any of the hard work you previously completed, so financial and academic credit is offered for transferable credits. Full and half credits are accepted, so if you’re already part of the way through a school year, it can still count. All you have to do is submit an official transcript from your public school within 90 days of enrollment. It’s a straightforward process, but the faster it’s submitted, the sooner you can get started.

Make the change with James Madison

Choose to study affordably and online at your own pace by transferring to JMHS. Get started today by enrolling online or call an Admissions Specialist at to learn more.

About the Author

Nicole Krempasky

Nicole Krempasky

Nicole Krempasky earned a BA in Communications with a minor in Art History from Arcadia University. Just finishing her MA in International Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University, she is putting her writing and research skills to use as Penn Foster’s Marketing Coordinator. Nicole enjoys baking, traveling, and British TV.