Can I Take Online College Classes While I'm Still In High SchoolIn these contemporary times, technological advancements have made it possible for college students to take courses online rather than confining themselves to the traditional classroom. Being able to engage in distance learning is advantageous for numerous reasons, including the fact that you have greater job flexibility and more freedom with respect to when you take an exam. And while taking online college classes can be beneficial for college students, they can benefit high school students as well.

Taking Online Courses While In High School

Although some people may think that only students who have already graduated from high school can take online college courses, this is not the case. Some institutions-such as Liberty University-have a dual enrollment program which enables high school students to maintain enrollment in both a secondary and post-secondary institution. Another institution-Oregon State-offers high school students an opportunity to take over 40 classes in subjects like philosophy, calculus, German, art, wildlife conservation, atmospheric sciences, and studies in women, gender, and sexuality. The online classes are taken through distance education, which the students receive primarily through video or Web. With these programs and others like it, high school students have the opportunity to earn college credit before graduating high school.

Benefits of Taking College Courses Early

If you are uncertain about whether or not you should take online college classes in high school, think about some of the benefits that doing so can afford you.

You Can Cut College Costs

There are at least two ways that taking online college courses during high school can cut your college costs. First, students can enroll in a dual credit program. With this option, the student can earn high school and college credit simultaneously. In such cases, the online courses are taken for free. Additionally, students can save money by taking online courses from a community college. The fees involved in taking a community college online course are often substantively lower than what you would pay at a state or private institution. After taking one or several courses at a community college, the student can subsequently transfer their credits to a four-year school.

Your Summer Can Be More Meaningful

Students often spend their summer working jobs to help save for college. However, these jobs are usually not geared towards the career path they want to pursue. In recognizing that taking online college classes will save money in the long run, however, high school students might be able to convince their parents to cover the cost of the courses in recognition of the fact that they’ll have to pay less out of pocket later.

You’ll Be More Prepared For College Level Work

In discussing the fact that taking online college courses in high school can help prepare a student for college level work, education reporter Devon Haynie noted that doing so will help students “get a sense of what will be expected in a college course.” Unfortunately, many of today’s students are simply not prepared for college-level work. Yet by taking online classes, they can begin familiarizing themselves with college material and gain confidence regarding their ability to perform well on tests.


If you are a high school student who is interested in taking online college classes, you should consider doing so. In order to determine which program is right for you, speak with your local high school counselor or go online and research universities that offer online courses. You might also consider taking courses offered by online universities, but be certain that you will receive college credit for every course that you take. In so doing, you’ll make sure to get the most out of your educational experiences.

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