How to Get an Online High School Diploma After 21

Are you thinking of getting a high school diploma, but embarrassed because of your age and worried about the cost? Don’t worry – with online high schools becoming increasingly popular, you can now obtain a high school diploma online as an adult student, regardless of how old you are. Today, there are high schools that offer flexible and affordable, or even free, online programs for adults over the age of 18.
According to the U.S. Census, 20% of Americans over the age of 25 do not have a high school diploma. Many adults dropped out of school when they were teens to get a job and help their family earn income. Some struggled in school, while others started a family early. Whatever your reason may be for dropping out of school, you can now go back to school and earn a high school diploma online.

Online High School: A Better Alternative to GED for Adult Students

Historically, if you dropped out of school, your only option as an adult student would be to take the GED test and earn a GED certificate, which many employers and universities consider to be inferior to a traditional high school diploma. Today, you have the option to earn a traditional high school diploma online, no matter what your age may be.

Many adults have come to realize that finishing and receiving their high school diploma can improve their employment prospects and make them eligible for workplace promotions. However, many adults have neither the luxury nor the freedom to spend several hours a day on a traditional school campus, because most adults have jobs, children, and very hectic lives. Online high schools solve this problem.

Do Online High Schools Have Age Limits?

In general, public online high schools have stricter age requirements than charter schools and private schools. Since public schools are state funded, their age limits follow state laws. These laws vary from state to state, but the majority of public schools permit students to work on completing their high school diploma for another one to three years after they turn 18, or until they turn 21. The biggest benefit of going to public online high schools is that they are entirely free.

If you are over 21 and wish to complete your diploma online, you should look into charter online high schools. Though charter schools are also state funded, they generally have more lenient age limits. Many charter online high schools that accept adult students above the age of 21. Adult students frequently choose charter schools because they are free, and they are known to offer better quality education than public schools.
Another option for adult students is to look into private online high schools. Private schools are the most lenient in terms of age limits, and tend to accept students of any age. However, all private online high schools cost money, so they are not a good option for those looking to earn their diploma online for free. Be prepared to pay several thousands of dollars if you join a private online high school program.

Online High Schools for Adults

We’ve compiled a list of online high schools that accept both teens as well as adult students.

View all online high schools for adults


  1. Brandon says:

    Hi there my name is Brandon McLain I dropped out at 10th grade to get a job and help family. before never went to school.
    I was hoping to get in to online high school to get my high school diploma.
    Then beable to get in the marines Ty you for your time.

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