Online Learning Provider Launches Virtual School Exclusively for Diploma Completion

A study conducted in May jointly by Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies and the Alternative Schools Network showed that high school graduates earn an average of $400,000 more over a lifetime than their peers without diplomas. Over a 40-year career, that's an average of $10,000 per year, a pretty fair incentive for a dropout to complete the coursework he or she needs to get that piece of parchment. Online education provider Advanced Academics has launched a program to help them do just that.

Advanced Academics Online School, already enrolling students in Mississippi and New York State, is an e-learning program specifically and exclusively geared toward students who need just a few or significantly more course credits in order to receive their high school diplomas. AAOS offers core and elective courses, as well as college preparatory courses for those whose plans may have taken a temporary detour but who now wish to return to an academic track. The program operates in the same way as many online adult education programs, with students completing their coursework on their own respective schedules, completing lessons, assignments, and assessments online using Advanced Academics' proprietary technology platform.

AAOS offers both full-time programs for those needing several credits to complete their education and part-time programs for those only one or two courses shy of graduation. The full-time option allows students to take up to 12 half-credit courses, or a total of six credits, for $1,850. The part-time option is available for $395 per course.

Although financial aid is not currently available, Advanced Academics vice president of marketing Andy Scantland explained that, "as the program grows, we are hoping [it] arises in the form of grants or scholarships from Advanced Academics and from local non-profit community organizations that we are partnering with." In the meantime, in order to ease the financial burden, the company offers a payment plan available to any full-time students who wish to participate. For up to 12 courses, the plan requires an up-front payment of $200 and 11 subsequent monthly payments of $155, payable via credit card or check.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.