It can be tiring work to research different online high schools. Their websites are all formatted differently, and there’s no easy way to compare their most important features.
That is, until now. We’ve done the hard work for you to streamline your decision process.
Let’s look at the competition and break down these top considerations one by one.
It’s no surprise that each of these schools gets the green light when it comes to reputation.
School reputation is important because it broadens your child’s network and credibility when applying for colleges.
Stanford University Online High School (UOH) and University of Missouri High School (Mizzou K-12) are associated with their respective universities. George Washington Online High School (OHS) is known for a high college acceptance rate.
Sora holds the distinct honor as one of the first online schools selected to join the prestigious Mastery Transcript consortium.
Accreditation is another absolute must among top online high schools. If your child’s high school diploma doesn’t come from an accredited high school, colleges probably won’t even look at his or her application.
These are the accreditations for each school:
Sora Schools: Western Association
Stanford UOH: Western Association
George Washington OHS: Middle States Association
Mizzou K-12: North Central Association
You can find out more about why accreditation matters here.
Capitalism loves to make us think that there’s a one-to-one relationship between cost and quality. But finding a fine school can be like finding a fine wine. Sometimes the $30 bottle actually tastes much better than the $50 bottle.
Sora and Mizzou K-12 are neck and neck in competitive pricing. Sora’s yearly tuition goes as low as $4,800. Mizzou’s standard tuition is about $5,000 per year, but there are additional discounts based on your region and program.
Stanford UOH comes in dead last at $22,850 per year. Yikes!
Customizable Course Load
Mizzou K-12 is the weakest link for customizability. It offers little variety beyond what you would expect at a traditional high school.
Stanford UOH’s version of variety seems to mimic a college course catalog. Their focus appears to be primarily academic with courses like Fundamentals of Expository Writing Lab, or Astronomy Research Seminar.
Sora and George Washington OHS afford students the flexibility to pursue specializations in their prospective career fields. We’ll return to this feature under Career Prep.
Besides the typical package of college advisors and workshops, Stanford UOH doesn’t seem to advertise additional college prep resources like SAT / ACT training.
Mizzou K-12 claims an optional College-Prep High School Diploma Program. But a closer examination reveals that this program simply reduces students’ course options to ensure that minimum college requirements are met–like taking a second language or meeting a minimum level of math.
Geroge Washington OHS grants students access to SAT / ACT prep, but not directly. They outsource this task to an independent resource called Method Test Prep.
On the other hand, Sora provides a personalized SAT / ACT boot camp, where students enjoy the training they need within the school community they know. In addition to providing counselors to aid students in their admissions process, Sora’s project-based program makes students stand out with high-quality portfolios.
Mizzou K-12 doesn’t appear to provide the flexibility that students need to explore potential career avenues. They’ve essentially reproduced a traditional high school workload on a virtual platform.
Stanford OUH offers more variety, but the nature of its courses copy a college model more than a career model. They present themselves as more intellectual than practical.
Geoge Washington OHS students can select a concentration to pursue career-related courses. But this practical preparation is still limited to their electives.
Career preparation is ingrained in Sora’s DNA. Sora’s founders specifically designed the program as a virtual playground for students to explore their dream careers. Click here to see what Sora students are up to.
The Best of Both Worlds
While Mizzou K-12 beat Sora in the Affordability category, Sora outperformed it in Customizability, College Prep and Career Prep. It looks like those extra dollars are worth it.
And let’s not forget that Sora came in second place for Affordability on our list, while distinguishing itself with personalized, internal college prep and highly customizable programs for pursuing future careers.
At Sora, we give students the best of both worlds, providing premium education at a price you can afford.