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Virtual High Schools: May a Student Earn a Diploma Through the Virtual High School?

These policies relate to how students earn their high school diploma: through the local school district or through the virtual high school.

Why does it matter?

  • Students benefit when they are held to the same state standards and assessed at the same level.
  • Students benefit when they have alternative means to earn credit.

    Highlights:
  • Twenty-five states maintain the local school district as the diploma granting entity.
  • Arizona and North Dakota allow the virtual school to grant diplomas.
  • Utah’s virtual high school can issue diplomas to students who are home-schooled, have dropped out of school, are past graduation age or are ineligible to graduate for other specific reasons.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agencies, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Sources for all data points are available through this link.

    Last updated: December 3, 2007

    Research conducted by Melodye Bush and Michael Colasanti. Please contact Melodye Bush (303.299.3631 or mbush@ecs.org) with comments or questions about this database.
  • May a student earn a diploma through the virtual high school?
    Alabama Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Alaska
    American Samoa
    Arizona Yes
    Arkansas Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    California Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Colorado Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Connecticut
    Delaware
    District of Columbia
    Florida Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Georgia Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Guam
    Hawaii Credits reported and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Idaho Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Illinois Credits counted and diploma is issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Indiana
    Iowa Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Kansas
    Kentucky Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Louisiana Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Maine
    Maryland Credits counted and diploma issues by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Massachusetts
    Michigan Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Minnesota
    Mississippi Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Missouri Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Montana
    Nebraska
    Nevada
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which is student is enrolled.
    New York
    North Carolina Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    North Dakota Yes, students can earn an accredited diploma through the Center for Distance Education. Students must submit a "diploma program application" and a one-time fee of $30.
    Ohio
    Oklahoma
    Oregon Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Pennsylvania
    Puerto Rico
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    South Dakota Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Tennessee
    Texas Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Utah Yes, but only students who are home-schooled, have dropped out and past graduation, or are ineligible to graduate for other specific reasons.
    Vermont
    Virgin Islands
    Virginia Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Washington
    West Virginia Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Wisconsin Credits counted and diploma issued by the high school in which the student is enrolled.
    Wyoming


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