Online High School vs. In-Person School

Posted on May 22 2023

Online High School vs. In-Person School


When you look at the different types of schooling available today, the options available are greater than ever before. Students today can choose whether they want to complete high school in a traditional, in-person school, or if they want to complete high school online from the comfort of their own home. 

However, many students may ask the question, “Is online school better than in-person school?” The answer depends on your unique situation.


How is online high school different from in-person high school?

While a student in an in-person high school goes to classes in a brick-and-mortar school each day, online high school does not require you to leave your home. Classes utilize the internet to connect students in different locations with their teacher who instructs remotely. 

Each type of schooling has its unique advantages for high school students. What’s best for you will vary depending on your unique circumstances.


Advantages of online school

When you start researching online high school vs. in-person school, you’ll probably have a lot of questions about what advantages it offers over in-person school. If you’re new to the idea of online school, you’ll find there are several ways it differs from a traditional high school.



When a student is enrolled in an online school, some barriers that keep them from succeeding in a traditional school setting are no longer an issue. In some cases, students aren’t able to succeed in in-person school due to circumstances in their personal lives. They may be experiencing health issues, taking care of family members, or needing to work during traditional school hours. 

With the flexibility that online schooling offers, education becomes more accessible to many students. Classes are often self-paced, allowing students to complete classes, assignments, and tests while they have free time outside of their other responsibilities. The more rigidly scheduled traditional school day does not offer the same flexibility for students.


Expanded class offerings

The schools in your area may not offer all of the classes you want to prepare yourself for college, trade school, or joining the workforce. With online high school, you aren’t limited to the classes available in the schools in your area. You can find education options better suited to your goals.


Gain more time in your day

If you are juggling more responsibilities at home, like acting as a caretaker or working outside of school, online high school can give you more time in your day. When your classes are completed at home, you don’t spend time commuting to and from school each day.


Control your learning environment

Some students succeed in a particular environment. When you are enrolled in a traditional high school, you have no control over the space you’re in. Online high school allows you to work in a space tailored to your needs, which can help you be a more successful student.


No age restrictions

Online high school can be completed at any age, even when a student has aged out of public high school.


Self-paced learning

Online high school often allows students to work at their own pace. This means that while a traditional high school student spends four years earning their high school diploma, someone enrolled in an online high school could complete their schooling in a matter of months.


Advantages of in-person high school

Online high school may not be for everyone. There are a number of reasons why someone might find in-person high school a better fit for them.


Fewer distractions

Going to a brick-and-mortar school separates students from the distractions that exist in their homes. Some students are more suited to a classroom environment that keeps them focused on their schoolwork.


Fewer opportunities for technology issues

Online high school students will need to have the correct technology to complete their classes, as well as reliable internet access. Sometimes, problems arise with the technology needed to complete classwork. While this limits an online high school student’s ability to participate in class for as long as the issues persist, it’s a bit easier for an in-person class to continue while experiencing technical difficulties in the classroom.


Face-to-face learning

While both online and in-person classes offer instruction and support from qualified teachers, some students may benefit from being in the same room as and learning face-to-face from their teachers during in-person classes.


More robust social opportunities

One element of online high school that can be challenging is not having face-to-face connections with your classmates as well. For some students, that’s not an issue. For others, they may benefit from the connections they make in person.



One of the main advantages of in-person public school is that it’s free. Online high schools require an investment, though they often have affordable tuition, payment plans, or scholarships.


Similarities between online and in-person school

Some people may wonder if they are losing anything by choosing online school over in-person school. However, there are a lot of similarities that may give prospective online high school students peace of mind when considering online school vs. in-person school.


Is the class material any different?

When you’re enrolled in online high school, you’re not receiving a lesser version of school. The class material will contain the same quality of information that you’d learn at an in-person school.


Are online school teachers as qualified as those in an in-person school?

Of course! Online high school classes are taught by trained and qualified teachers, just like any other high school. They’ll be equally equipped to teach and help you with any questions that you have about class material.


Do you still complete assignments and tests as an online student?

Yes, online high school teachers use both assignments and tests as elements of their classes, just like a traditional high school class.


Are you considering online high school?

Maybe you’re no longer asking the question, “is online school better than in-person school?” and you want to begin looking for online high school options.

Whether you quit high school and want to return or you need more flexibility in your high school schedule, The American Academy offers a fully accredited online high school diploma program that will help you finish your journey to high school graduation. Our team will customize a graduation plan to help you succeed.

Our 100% online and flexible classes ensure you have time for your real-life responsibilities as you complete our high school diploma program. Each of our more than 100 core and elective classes is taught by a licensed, passionate, and dedicated teacher who will be available to answer your questions during specified business hours.

If you’re considering enrolling in online high school, visit The American Academy’s website to learn more about finishing your high school diploma online.


Recommended Readings

Tips for High School Students Taking Online Classes While Working Full Time

Staying Connected as an Online Learner