Stanford Online High School is ranked among the top online high schools available. But how much of this reputation rests on the Stanford name? What do parents and students have to say about their experience there? We’re going to dive into reviews of Stanford Online High School alongside Sora Schools to help you decide which school might be the best fit for you.
Both Sora Schools and Stanford Online High School are accredited by WASC.
As the gold standard of accreditation, WASC takes a holistic, ‘we are student-centered’ approach that focuses on the uniqueness of each school.–WASC Accrediting Commissions for Schools
Accreditation is key to any successful high school. Colleges rarely consider students who apply from unaccredited high schools. This is because accreditation provides proof of quality. It’s an internationally recognized badge that says, “This school’s performance holds up against rigorous standards.”
Affiliation and Networking Opportunities
It’s never too early to start building your network. So why not get ahead and start in high school? One of the best ways to start your network is by connecting with your teachers. This is where the benefit of online school comes in. You aren’t limited to your geographical location to select a network that will lead you to your aspirations.
When you choose an online high school, you’re also choosing a network. So think about your career goals and which network can best help you achieve them.
Stanford Online High School’s network is most closely tied to Stanford University. If you’re interested in attending Stanford University for college, attending their high school is a logical stepping stone that few could argue with. When Stanford Online High School students were surveyed for which colleges they were interested in, Stanford University came out on top with 146 votes.
Sora specializes in both college and career preparation. It prioritizes providing students with faculty who aren’t just academically savvy but are successful professionals in their field. This way, Sora students can branch out their network beyond academic circles. They can connect with professionals in their prospective fields.
Out of all the qualities reported about Stanford Online High School, its highly rigorous curriculum is the most common. Parents frequently cite that faculty members tend to hold either a Masters or Doctorate in their field. Both parents and students compare the class materials to what they would expect from college coursework.
Notably, one parent wrote, “It’s for the highly gifted students,” and some parents have expressed their child feeling left behind when struggling with materials. Another parent described discontent over the school’s heavy emphasis on testing.
Sora’s curriculum design offers a unique learning experience free of testing constraints. Its project-based, mastery approach affords gifted students the creative space to stretch their wings without leaving other students behind. Sora evaluates students based on their demonstrated mastery of concept-related skills, not on a test score. Instead of answering math questions on a test, they can demonstrate skills by coding a functional video game.
Clubs and Community
Lack of social opportunities is one of the common complaints about Stanford Online High School. More than one reviewer used the word, “machine,” to describe the school. Others say that, while there are numerous clubs, they lack quality. Another reviewer wrote,
Academics are great, but student life is terrible. Students put themselves over others and don’t care for those who get left behind. If your child has any problems making friends, avoid this school. If you are just coming here for the academics and nothing else, then this is an excellent choice.
Sora’s social community, on the other hand, is a favorite quality among students. Hannah, a student at Sora, shared,
I love the community that we’ve built so far with all of the students…After the first week, it kind of fell into friendships, and we bonded over things–especially with the clubs and finding interests that we like.
Stanford Online High School’s yearly tuition is $25,670. This tuition is so uncommonly high that you could pay for a new car with your savings from picking another reputable virtual high school.
Sora’s yearly tuition ranges on a sliding scale between $4,800 – $9,600. The sliding scale is based on family income to make premium education affordable for ambitious students.
What’s Right for You?
Here’s the user review verdict. Stanford Online High School is esteemed for its college-esque coursework. Nearly every reviewer who loves this school raves about its highly qualified teachers who teach a variety of challenging concepts. If rigorous academics is your absolute priority (and you can afford the tuition), Stanford Online High School could be a good option for you.
On the other hand, if you’re more career-oriented or are looking for a peer community that supports your personal growth, Sora is a great choice. It’s an affordable option that focuses on building the skills you need to pursue your passions without sacrificing socialization. Find out more about what students think of Sora here.