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Pros and Cons of Online High School

Written by Nicole Dalbo on Wednesday, 05 October 2022. Posted in Helpful Tips

Girl with glasses writing in notebook, sitting at a cluttered desk with laptop open.

Are you considering online high school, but unsure if it suits you and your educational needs? Look no further. While you’re the only person that can really make that call, we’ve put together this helpful list of the pros and cons of an online high school diploma to help you discover if an online education might be a good fit for you.

Benefits to Online High School

When compared to traditional schools, online schools definitely have differences. Start by learning these online schooling pros and begin making an informed decision on how your needs match with online high school.

1. Learn on your schedule.

Are you a night person or a morning person? With online high school you can actually work on your lessons at a time when your brain is functioning at its peak. Not only this, but students with jobs can really make the most of their work/life balance by working on their lessons when they’re not on the clock. Even students that have unexpected time off due to medical issues can still progress in their school work when they’re ready and able with online lessons to avoid being held back.

2. Study in an environment that works for you.

If learning at any time seems appealing to you, having the freedom to learn wherever you like might speak to you as well. Whether you’re someone that doesn’t do well in noisy classrooms, or just prefer a change of scenery in your learning environment, online high school can be a huge help to you.

With mobile-friendly lessons, moving to a new study environment away from distractions can help you retain your newfound knowledge. Learners that frequently need to travel may also seriously benefit from being able to learn from various locations since their lessons can actually travel with them.

3. No age limit.

While most traditional schools limit learners to 21 years of age, sometimes life gets in the way and makes graduating on time impossible. Online high school allows adult learners to either begin, or continue, their high school education and earn a high school diploma as an adult.

If you’re an adult who hasn’t finished high school, you may even be wondering: is a high school diploma important? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers that have earned a high school diploma make on average nearly $10,000 more per year than those without. Even if you haven’t finished high school yet, it still may be beneficial to get a high school diploma after 21.

4. Get more sleep.

How can online high school improve your sleep schedule? Because it’s self-paced, you don’t have to worry about waking up before your body. When you don’t have to get ready and travel to school for specific times, it allows you to put your education in your control. Experts from the Sleep Foundation discovered this interesting fact:

  • If allowed to sleep on their own schedule, many teens would get eight hours or more per night, sleeping from 11 p.m. or midnight until 8 or 9 a.m., but school start times18 in most school districts force teens to wake up much earlier in the morning. Because of the biological delay in their sleep-wake cycle, many teens simply aren’t able to fall asleep early enough to get eight or more hours of sleep and still arrive at school on time.
  • You can read more on this study here.

When you don’t have to get ready and travel to school for specific times, it allows you to be better rested and helps you manage your day.

5. Gain valuable independence and time management skills.

Working at your own pace really pushes you to develop your independence. With no due dates, online high school students don’t have anything but themselves pushing them to get their work done. This encourages those students to learn how much they need to get done in their day in order to meet their goals.

Psychologist Willian Knause discovered that up to 90% of college students procrastinate, and of those procrastinators, 25% will end up dropping out of college due to putting their assignments off. Even if college isn’t in your future, time management skills are important skills for most careers and will carry through the rest of your life.

6. Graduate quicker than traditional school.

Another benefit of working on your own schedule? If you’re determined and set your mind to it, its definitely possible to graduate quicker than a traditional 4-year high school. If you’re wondering how to get high school credits fast, it’s a lot simpler than you think.

Once you work your way through all of your courses, you’ll become eligible to graduate and get your diploma. Whether you’re an adult learner looking to earn your diploma ASAP or a traditional age student wanting to meet this milestone quicker than your peers, online high school makes this a possibility.

Cons to Online High School

While those pros sound appealing, online high school definitely isn’t for everyone. Check out this next list about the cons of online school in order to continue informing your decision about your education.

1. Earning your diploma may take longer.

Going to school online, you can graduate quicker than traditional high schools. While that is true, it’s also true that it may take some extra time to earn your diploma. So, how can both be true? Because your high school diploma is self-paced, it’s truly up to you and your hard work when you complete your classes.

While it’s possible to brush up on your study skills, if you’re someone that isn’t very self-motivated, and needs the push of strict deadlines, online school may be a difficult obstacle for you.

  • JMHS success tip: Limit distractions in your study space. Try working on your lessons in a library, an area of your house away from electronics, or declutter and organize an area in your room to best avoid distractions.

2. It can be easier to be distracted.

In traditional school settings, the focus of your classroom is your teacher. When you’re in online high school, studying from home may be more of a distraction than you think. Just think of all the social media apps, streaming services, and video games within your reach.

It takes real will power to pull yourself away from those temptations and focus on writing an essay. Although it’s helpful to destress with one of these distractions from time to time, pulling yourself away from them is necessary in order to succeed in online high school.

  • JMHS success tip: Limit distractions in your study space. Try working on your lessons in a library, an area of your house away from electronics, or declutter and organize an area in your room to best avoid distractions.

3. Your instructors aren’t just a hand raise away.

Because online schooling is mostly self-guided, getting your instructors’ attention isn’t as instant as raising your hand. This can definitely be frustrating if you’re looking for immediate answers, but you’re definitely not totally on your own.

Although online high schools are different in their instructor set up, at JMHS you’ll find that you can schedule a tutoring appointment right on your course page. Teachers will also have regular office hours every week that you can drop in freely and ask your questions.

  • JMHS success tip: Eric M, a JMHS Student Advocate, suggests to not wait until the last minute to schedule your English and Math appointments, as they can book up quickly!

4. The social aspect takes work.

It can be a hard transition for some students to not see their peers in person as frequently as they once had. If you’re someone that thrives on face-to-face interaction in your learning environment, this may be a huge con of online school. However, there are still ways to meet and chat with other JMHS students.

The JMHS Community is a great way to connect with peers in a moderated, bully-free forum. Whether you need a study buddy, a quick vent about your math lessons, or are even looking to join (or create) one of the many different interest boards, the community is an environment where you can do just that.

  • JMHS success tip: Shawn B., the JMHS Community Manager, recommends introducing yourself on the Welcome board for a quick way to meet new people, after simply clicking on the Community tab located in your student portal.

Is Online School a Good Idea?

That depends! If you’re an independent, self-motivated person that values their sleep, being able to take their lessons when and where they want, or would like to fast track their education, we think so.

However, if you need a little extra push, are more easily distracted, and need a little more social interaction from teachers and classmates, maybe it isn’t the perfect fit. If you’re somewhere in between the two, it may be a good idea to see what benefits you most and what sacrifices you’re willing to make for each one.

If you think you have what it takes to take charge of your education, JMHS is an accredited, online high school ready to help you own your success. Reach out to an Admissions Specialist today at to learn more.

How to Learn More About Online High School Diplomas

If you’re still trying to add more to your own pros and cons list, these related blogs can help you to take a deeper dive into the world of online high school learning with JMHS.

About the Author

Nicole Dalbo

Nicole Dalbo

Nicole Dalbo studied English Literature with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Scranton and is currently working toward her MS in Marketing. When she isn’t writing, Nicole can be found watching the newest Marvel movie, baking something sweet, or jamming out to live music.