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

Posted on July 08 2020

A woman sits at a desk in front of a laptop.

There are 23 million people over the age of 25 in the United States who have yet to receive a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People drop out of high school for a number of reasons, such as life events; struggling to succeed; and “fading out,” or losing motivation. As these individuals assume full-time jobs, bring in an income, and support themselves, finding the time to return to school becomes more challenging.

However, many online programs offer flexible schedules that make it possible for full-time professionals to obtain their high school diplomas without taking time off of work. By taking advantage of these programs, finding the right support, and implementing effective time management strategies, working professionals can return to school and succeed while doing so.

Balancing Online Classes With Full-Time Work

Adults can complete their high school education by taking high school classes online. This offers the flexibility they need to continue to work full time. However, returning to school brings about new challenges, like finding time for work, school, and family; readjusting to studying; and developing new time management skills. 

To help ease the transition, individuals will first need to find an accredited online program. They should look for a program that offers the level of instruction, one-on-one attention, means of delivering material, and flexibility that they personally need to succeed. Then, they’ll need to discuss their educational goals with their supervisors, who can help with the transition to being a student and full-time employee. Finally, they’ll need to create a schedule that works for them.

After preparing for the return to school, students need to use their time management skills to help achieve a healthy balance between school, work, and personal lives. The following are some tips for taking online classes while working full time that will help students find that stability: 

Use a Planner

It’s important to track homework assignments. Laying out a calendar helps students visualize their week, according to The Princeton Review. Tracking work and other social commitments helps them find time for school and managing every aspect of their life.

Find a Routine

Establish set times to work on homework — and stick to them. This creates structure and simulates an in-person classroom experience. Find a time of day that works best and get as much done as possible. This time can change week to week depending on the student’s work schedule, but it’s important to keep it as consistent as possible.

Revisit Notes at the End of the Day

Reviewing what they learned each day will help students identify holes in their understanding. They can make note of these and put in additional effort. Additionally, marking important information helps when reviewing for tests.

Study a Little Every Day

Since life and work can get busy fast, studying material every day better prepares students when it comes to tests. They won’t have to worry about cramming at the last minute, which can be difficult if unexpected circumstances at work or with family arise.

Create Multiple Study Spaces

Changing up scenery increases productivity. A dedicated study space at home, a favorite tree in a park, or a quiet corner in a library can all be homework spaces. Mixing it up can help students retain more information.

Log In To Class Every Day

Students should make logging in to school a part of their daily routine. Even if there’s nothing due, logging in will make school a priority and ensure they don’t miss assignments or announcements.

Taking Classes Online

Online learning is convenient and accessible. There are numerous benefits for students who take high school classes online, including the following:

  • Working at their own pace
  • Studying and taking tests when they’re ready
  • Enjoying time with family and friends when they’re not working or studying
  • Connecting with teachers on online platforms 

Individuals looking to go back to school can explore what online program would work best for them. To find the right program, The New York Times recommends that individuals look for accreditation, find course structures that have peer-to-peer opportunities, and evaluate their computers and internet connections to ensure they meet the program’s requirements.

The American Academy’s High School Diploma

Making the decision to return to school can be daunting — especially when students need to continue working full time. Online programs like The American Academy’s high school diploma program offers customized education plans that fit individual students’ needs. Throughout the program, faculty members are available to offer support and are dedicated to helping their student achieve success both in and out of the classroom.

Learn more about how the program makes it possible for students to take classes online while working full time.


Recommended Readings

Organizational Tips for Successful Online Learning
Managing High School Stress: 5 Key Tips
Six Tips to Create a Productive Study Space at Home


College Board, Balancing High School and Part-Time Work 

ELearning Industry, “Traditional Learning Vs. Online Learning”

Mom Junction, “7 Most Common Reasons Kids Drop Out of School”

The Balance, Careers, “Reasons for Working Your Way Through College”  

The New York Times, “Choosing the Best Online Program for You”

The Princeton Review, “12 Study Tips for Back to School”

ThoughtCo, “5 Things That Make It Easier to Go Back to School as an Adult” 

ThoughtCo, “High School Dropouts and Second Chance Education” 

U.S. Census Bureau, “High School Completion Rate Is Highest in U.S. History”