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Virtual High Schools: Does the State Limit Enrollment in Online Courses Based on Available Funding?

Most states have a limited budget for their virtual high school program. As such, students enrollment is often limited based on available funds.

Why does it matter?

  • Policymakers need to balance quality and access.
  • Limits allow policymakers to oversee the enrollment of non-public school students who could potentially add to overall the costs of the program.

  • Nine states limit enrollment based on available funding.
  • Fifteen states don’t limit enrollment.
  • Two states leave the determination up to the local school district.
  • Information was not available to answer 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.
  • Does the state limit enrollment in online courses based on available funding (and if so--does the district assume responsibility for all costs if a student wants to enroll in an online course?)
    Alabama Yes
    American Samoa
    Arizona No
    Arkansas Yes
    California No
    Colorado No
    District of Columbia
    Florida No
    Georgia No
    Hawaii No
    Idaho No 
    Illinois No
    Iowa Enrollment is determined by the local school district.
    Kentucky No
    Louisiana Yes, Louisiana Virtual High School uses a three-phase registration system that initially caps course registrations from any single school.
    Maryland No
    Michigan Yes, schools can either buy a "seat" in courses or ask parents to purchase a course for a student.
    Mississippi No
    Missouri Yes.  Student assumes the responsibility for cost if additional courses are desired.
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico Yes, New Mexico gives priority to students in need because of geographic location, lack of qualified teachers and/or access to core course instruction.
    New York
    North Carolina No information available
    North Dakota No information available
    Oregon Enrollment guidelines are determined by the local district
    Puerto Rico
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina Yes
    South Dakota No information available
    Texas No
    Utah Yes, enrollment is on a first-come first-served basis.
    Virgin Islands
    Virginia No
    West Virginia Yes
    Wisconsin No

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