Top 7 Things They Don’t Want You to Know About Taking Online Courses

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“Take a course to get ahead!” They say… but really, what’s the deal with online high school? Virtual schools are everywhere, but most people aren’t telling you the real reasons to try it.

Don’t like to wake up early? Online courses are ready when you are.

No joke. Taking online high school classes means you work when, where, and how you want. Not an early bird? Log in at noon—your English class is ready for you. Have plans tonight? Log in to get some work done when you get home—your math class is always open. Schedule flexibility is one reason so many students and families are taking their high school classes online. 

Online classes can help you graduate early.

By taking additional credits alongside your high school work, you have the opportunity to graduate early, which means more time to pursue what you love. Maybe you want to work more hours, start college sooner or maybe you’re the youngest pro tennis player ever and you need more time to practice. Take some online classes and you can work toward earning your high school diploma and graduating as soon as you’re ready.

Online does not mean working alone.

It’s not the 90s anymore—online learning doesn’t happen in an isolated underground computer lab. When you take an online high school class, you join a community of learners. You have a real teacher, there are real students to collaborate with, along with clubs and activities to take part in. This connection can feel deeper than traditional courses because in an online school much of the teaching is one-on-one, it’s all about you. 

You can boost your GPA!

Many online schools offer Advanced Placement, Honors and even dual enrollment or concurrent enrollment college-level courses, which can give your GPA the boost it needs to be competitive for college. If your local school doesn’t offer these courses, online high schools (like ASU Prep Digital) may be a way to get the weighted credit that can really help out your GPA.

On the other hand, if you’ve failed a high school course, online learning means you won’t be held back.

Everyone makes mistakes. Before online high school classes, failing a class could have meant being held back and missing out. Now, by retaking that dreaded class online, you may be able to replace the course you failed without repeating it at school.

Online learning helps students figure out how the adult world works.

Much of adult life happens online. From banking to interviews and even remote work, people today have to figure out how to use so many different systems to get through life. Students who take online classes learn how to navigate unfamiliar situations and working environments like they’re a breeze! Taking a virtual high school course means that you’ve got a jump start on adult life—it’s an online class benefit that they don’t tell you about. 

Get a head start toward college.

Want to get ahead of the competition when it comes to college admission? Start college courses while you’re still in high school. A few online high schools offer dual enrollment courses, allowing you to receive college credit from a local community college. You don’t have to drive to your local campus anymore to get the benefits. Better yet, ASU Prep Digital offers concurrent enrollment, allowing students anywhere in the world to be enrolled in both high school and Arizona State University classes at the same time. These University courses count for high school and college credit. And because ASU is a Level 1 Research University, the credits transfer anywhere. Completing these online courses will prove to any college admissions staff you’re ready for the challenge and will save you time and money when you arrive on campus with some of your courses already done.

We understand if you still have fears about taking online courses. While online learning isn’t for everyone, taking even a few virtual high school courses can help you catch up, get ahead or jump start your GPA. Educate yourself about your options and what online learning is really like.

ASU Prep Digital is one way to get there. Learn more, at



Originally published on September 7, 2017

4 Reasons To Take An Online Class In High School

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If you’re a student who’s ready to get a head start in college, graduate early, and begin your career, then an older sibling or parent may have already explained to you the importance of hard and soft skills. While hard skills can be learned in class, like math or chemistry, soft skills are not easily taught in school. They require trial and error. By taking an online class in high school, you can start developing important soft skills early enough to master them by college.


You’re probably thinking, well…I communicate online every day through Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. You’re right. But communication on social media tends to be more informal. Taking an online class in high school will let you practice how to communicate like an adult with your teacher and other students. Once you move on to college, sending a professor an email or writing a discussion post to other students will feel familiar instead of terrifying. Using formal communication in your online class will prepare you for the real world, too. Most adults will tell you that they spend more time in their jobs communicating online than in person, so it’s important to learn how to express yourself clearly in order to be productive.

Time Management

You probably have experience with learning how to manage your time wisely. Like juggling your acting lessons with volleyball practice or balancing time with your family and friends. Now, you just have to adapt these time management skills to your online high school class. Students are most successful when they make their own deadlines and figure out what pace works best for them. It’s up to you to plan your study time around your day. You decide whether you prefer reading and writing in the evening and going to soccer practice in the morning, or taking dance classes in the evening and working out math problems during the day. When you have 30 minutes of downtime in between lessons or practice, take out your laptop and work on an assignment, even if you only get it halfway done. Every online class is different, but it’s important to take advantage of working ahead when you’re given the flexibility to work at your own pace. Procrastination will follow you into college, so it’s best to figure out how to prioritize now.


It’s so easy to get distracted these days, spending hours scrolling through your news feed or even binge watching your new favorite show on Netflix. Where do you find the motivation to do homework? It sounds hard but eventually you’ll turn it into a habit, like keeping your room organized. When you take an online class, you’ll be responsible for signing on and knowing when you should be working on your assignments. Your teacher won’t physically be there to remind you every day to do your homework, so buy yourself a good planner and write down all your upcoming assignments. Or plug your deadlines into the calendar in your phone and setup reminders to alert you a few days before they are due. College students will tell you this will be the best way to stay on top of your work because professors won’t be reminding you about deadlines either.

Work Ethic

Developing a good work ethic while you’re still in high school will guarantee your success in college and in the real world. And the best way to prepare for college classes is to register for one! You can sign up for a dual enrollment program either at your high school or community college and earn college credit. You’ll get a taste of the college experience and complete credits that will count toward your degree once you declare it. However, some students do run into issues when they go out of state because all the credits may not transfer to the university of their choosing.

One way to make sure you receive full credit for your hard work is to find an online high school that offers concurrent enrollment with a top university. It’s similar to dual enrollment except you’ll enroll in university courses and receive credit for both high school and college. The best part is, you’ll kill two birds with one stone because you won’t have to retake the same general requirements as a college freshman. And since the courses are registered with a university instead of community college, the credits transfer almost anywhere.

Signing up for an online class in high school is a great way to begin preparing for college. Take advantage of your options and learn how you can get ahead of the competition. By the time everyone else is getting started, you’ll already be at the finish line.

Still not sure if online learning is right for you? Doing your research in the best first step. Take a look at some of our other posts, including this one on how to decide whether online learning is right for you or this one on the common fears of online education.


What is ASU Prep Digital?

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New trends and technology are changing how we do things all the time. So why should our approach to education be an exception? Let’s be real, the average student spends 6-10 hours a day on their mobile device—streaming videos, double tapping pictures, snapping friends and participating in threads all over the web. We’re way past the days of closed classrooms and blackboards. Endless learning opportunities are in the palm of our hands and students are already looking for them. From how-to videos to blog posts, our kids don’t have to wait to be taught anymore. Everything they want to know is already at their fingertips.  

Students need a school that can keep up with them, which is where online high school options step into the picture. But, there are a few options out there to earn a diploma online. What makes ASU Prep Digital uniquely different from other online schools?

A Rich History: Unlike other online schools, ASU Prep Digital has its roots in brick & mortar education. As Arizona State University’s online high school, ASU Prep Digital is deeply embedded in the innovative ecosystem of ASU. That’s right, a university ranked #1 in the U.S. for innovation, has opened a program for high school students. This provides students with access to valuable resources, leadership and career development opportunities. While blending some traditional learning styles with a 21st-century approach, ASU Prep Digital provides an introduction to the college experience through student events and mentorships. By being a part of this program high schoolers gain an incredible advantage, both in college credits and life credentials.

Concurrent College Enrollment Online: We’re not talking about AP courses, ASU Prep Digital offers high school students the opportunity to concurrently enroll in college level courses, with real professors. Rather than driving to a local community college and graduating with dual enrollment credits that may or may not transfer to a university, students can take concurrent enrollment courses online with ASU. What’s better, is when students finish these courses they earn real credits to take with them to whatever college or university they choose—putting them a few steps ahead their first year, saving valuable time and money and allowing them to avoid taking redundant general education courses as a freshman.

Cutting Edge Tech: Students enrolled at ASU Prep Digital have access to some of the most innovative technology available today. Imagine having class discussions via video conference with your Algebra teacher, right from your own living room. ASU Prep Digital has customized learning modules that set each student’s pace and provide direction based on real-time results from tests and projects. Also, ASU Prep Digital students have access to the me3 application. An innovative new tool that helps students pick a career path by choosing select images that fit their passion. They’re given three career matches based on their picks, with details like how many credits are required, annual salary for that job and much more.

All Inclusive:  ASU Prep Digital strives to help every student get ahead, regardless of their social or academic background. Since 2002, ASU has nearly doubled the number of undergraduates receiving Pell grants to 35.8%. That means more opportunities for more students—many who may have never considered a college education. Offering free full-time in-state tuition, ASU Prep Digital creates hope for high-school students in their college education and future careers.

A Perfect Fit: A student’s high school and postsecondary success are #1 priorities. That’s why ASU Prep Digital has created a unique learning environment that tailors to each student’s needs. Throughout their course experience, students are served with coursework and mentorship programs that meet them at their learning level and set a pace for how and when they work. It’s easy to give teachers real time feedback on each course, ask questions and even get one-on-one coaching from their professors. This is not just another “boring” online course experience, it’s a customized and collaborative learning experience.

This isn’t your average online high school option. This is an entirely new option that allows students to earn their high school diploma online and dual enroll in college courses online, at the same time. By taking those courses now with ASU Prep Digital, students get the chance to learn from the best, work toward high school graduation and start college with a few credits already completed. Saving valuable time and money once they get there. High school students can enroll part time or full time, offering the flexibility they need, paired with a learning environment that is built for them.

The mission at ASU Prep Digital is to graduate students ready for postsecondary success, regardless of academic or social background. The motto is simple “not by who we exclude, but rather by who we include and how they succeed.” ASU Prep Digital is a growing option for students all over the world. Check out the full course catalog and learn more, at