How to Go Back to High School After Dropping Out

Posted on June 21 2023

How to Go Back to High School After Dropping Out


Whether you’ve been away from high school for a few months or several years, the option to finish your high school diploma is always available. If you’re asking how to finish high school after dropping out, the key to your success is knowing what paths you can take to earn your diploma.


What options do you have when you want to return to high school?


Your options to go back to high school vary based on your age. Most states have different maximum ages at which free education must be offered, ranging from 17 to 26 years old. In most states, this requirement ends for people who are in their early 20s. There are a handful of states where there is no maximum age, so you would be eligible for free public education at any time in your life.

If you’re still eligible for free education in your state, your options for going back to school differ from someone who has aged out of that eligibility.


If you’re still eligible for free education in your state

One of the first options many people who are exploring how to finish high school after dropping out will consider is going back to the school they were previously attending. You can contact the school or school district to start a conversation about the options that exist for people who dropped out of high school. 

Students may also consider an alternative high school, which offers different graduation requirements and forms of support. These schools may also offer more flexibility for students who are in a situation where completing a traditional high school program might be more difficult. 

Another path to completing a high school diploma is an online high school. An online high school for dropouts offers a higher level of flexibility than a traditional or alternative high school, allowing them to complete classes on their own schedule. Flexibility helps students succeed in their high school classes while still going to work or dealing with other obligations.

If you’re no longer eligible for free education

If you’re older than the maximum age to be eligible for free education in your state, the journey to completing high school doesn’t end for you. You still have a variety of options to consider.

When people think of options available to adults who dropped out of high school, many people’s minds will jump to earning a high school equivalency diploma such as the GED. The GED consists of four exams that will test your knowledge of math, language arts, social studies, and science.

But there are other options for adults to finish their high school education. Some people may not be aware before researching how to finish high school after dropping out that adults can still earn their high school diploma at any age.

One way to complete high school that fits into most adults’ schedules is online high school for dropouts. While public school programs have age limitations that may restrict who can attend, online high schools typically offer programs for people of all ages. 

When you enroll in an online high school for dropouts, you won’t just complete a series of equivalency tests. You enroll in classes taught by qualified teachers who are subject matter experts and complete assignments and tests. You’ll spend time learning subjects in-depth, which is one of the biggest differences between completing a high school diploma and the GED. 

Depending on your future plans, an accredited high school diploma from an online high school may be the right option. If you’re considering a college degree, your diploma illustrates your ability to complete high school classes while demonstrating proficiency in a wide range of subjects. 

Online high schools offer another major advantage for people who are wondering how to finish high school after dropping out. While online high school is similar to a traditional high school in some ways, one key differences that makes it a great fit for adults is the flexibility it offers. 

Many people who go back to school as an adult have jobs and families, which can make finding the time to complete classes difficult. However, online high school for dropouts allows students to complete classes at home whenever they have free time in their days.


Going back to school at The American Academy


If you’re ready to go back to school, explore earning your diploma wi th The American Academy. The American Academy is a private, online, and fully accredited high school that works with students aged 13 and older who want to finish high school. Students complete a 100% online program in which dedicated teachers help them work through graduation requirements. Choose from our catalog of online classes, including English, math, science, and a variety of other courses. 

Want to read more about the American Academy? Learn how you can start working toward your high school diploma today!

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