Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 •
Virtual High Schools: Who Pays for Courses?

Most often, a student's local school district will pay for the courses. In some instances, however, a student must pay (typically because he/she has already failed the course).

Why does it matter?

  • Students who most need access might not be able to afford it.
  • Students who fail courses because of personal choices such as lack of attendance benefit from being held accountable for their actions.

  • North Dakota requires the student to pay for the courses
  • Fifteen states look to the local district for the funding
  • Nine states fund directly from the state.
  • Information was not available to address this question in three states.

    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 with comments or questions about this database.
  • Who pays for courses (district/school/student under certain circumstances)?
    Alabama State funded
    American Samoa
    Arizona State funded
    Arkansas State funded
    California Local district
    Colorado Local district
    District of Columbia
    Florida State funded
    Georgia State funded
    Hawaii State funded
    Idaho For courses offered during the school day, the school district pays for the course.  For courses outside of the regular school day, the student is responsible.
    Illinois Local district
    Iowa Local district
    Kentucky Local district; however, the student pays a fee if the course is taken for credit recovery.
    Louisiana State funded
    Maryland Local district
    Michigan Local district
    Mississippi State funded
    Missouri Local district
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico Local district; however, a home school student who enrolls in less than one-half of the minimum course requirements may pay up to 35% of the cost of each unit.
    New York
    North Carolina No information available
    North Dakota Student. However, scholarships are available and are awarded to most of those who apply.
    Oregon No information available
    Puerto Rico
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina No information available
    South Dakota Local district, which is reimbursed by the state.
    Texas Local district; however, students may have to pay the enrollment fee if they are enrolled in a course load greater than that normally taken by students in the equivalent grade level in other school districts and if they do not qualify for accelerated funding under section 30A.154. Also, students who are not enrolled in a school district or open-enrollment charter school as a full-time student may be charged enrollment fees.
    Utah Local district
    Virgin Islands
    Virginia The state pays for all Early College Scholar students (the Early College Scholars program allows eligible high school students to earn at least 15 hours of transferable college credit while completing the requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma). For all other students, there is a tuition charge.
    West Virginia The local district, but students may have to pay if the course is already offered in their schools.
    Wisconsin Local district

    © 2013 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
    To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail
    Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy