Am I eligible for admission to Stanford University Online High School?

I’m a few months away from turning 19 years old, and I’d like to do my final high school year at Stanford University online high school. I became interested in online learning after I came across a free online high school for adults.

I’m not such a great fun of traditional school, and with a passion for programming, I spend most of my time on my computer. Having tested the free online high school courses, I set my eyes on Stanford, which is the most prestigious. Am I eligible?

Rodney Fox

in Online Courses

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Heather Maxwell on April 16, 2018

Indeed, you’re right. Stanford is the most prestigious of online schools. Unfortunately, you’re not eligible for application. Stanford University’s online high school has very stringent admission criteria. Understandably, Stanford is a highly respected and famed institution, which can only attach its name to a service that is at par with its standards. Plus, part of the reason many people apply for their courses is that grandaunts get to add the Stanford name to their resumes and increase chances of being considered by Ivy League universities.

Right from their website’s homepage, you get the impression that the school is highly selective. Consistent good grades, personal essays, and teacher recommendation are among the top criteria for consideration.

However, other factors not mentioned on the site may still affect your application. First, even if you meet all the specified criteria, you must not be over 18 at the beginning of your school year at Stanford. Therefore, since you are turning 19, you are already past the age limit.

Additionally, the school rarely accepts students who want to spend their final/senior year at Stanford. In exceptional cases, older students may be subjected to a different, more rigorous application, which may include a placement test and interview. Though the school offers high school courses (non-free) online from grades 7-12, younger applicants, i.e., from grade 6 are encouraged to apply for grade 7. Even if you do get an admission letter, most people find that the tuition fee is prohibitively expensive. Tuition will set you back roughly $15,800 a year studying fulltime without additional expenses such as books.

However, your lack of eligibility to Stanford shouldn’t be a reason to give up on online education. Many more reputable and accredited school offer online high school for adults free or paid. Here are some suggestions you may look into:

Penn Foster has been around for a century now to help students who want to pursue distance learning. I think it is a wise choice based on its variety of courses, substantial presence, and reasonable fees.

Keystone is an excellent school that offers many high school online programs from which to select. Plus, you get to do your coursework at your own pace either online or through correspondence. Some programs come with textbooks that you can receive through shipping.

Lastly, Laurel Springs is another good bet specializing in K-12 distance learners accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


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