Skip to content

What to Know about Online High School Diploma Programs Versus Traditional School Programs

  • Blog





girl holding her diploma earned through an online high school program

High School is not what it used to be. Students today are no longer expected to adhere to strict academic calendars and grade scales in order to earn that coveted high school diploma. No longer is the idea of seat time the primary way a student is assessed. There are, in fact, other ways of earning a high school diploma.

Today, students all over the country are turning to online high school diploma programs like those at Virtual Learning Academy Charter School to get an education.

The VLACS model, which caters to both full and part-time students, is similar to that of traditional brick-and-mortar high school in that students are able to earn a diploma-but only after completing a variety of requirements and objectives. While the end result is much the same, the path a student takes to get to that high school diploma is vastly different-especially at VLACS.

If you’re a student looking at VLACS’ online high school diploma programs as either an alternative or as a supplemental approach to satisfying public school requirements, check out this list of differences/similarities between the two before making your decision. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.


  • Performance – Students who attend online school at VLACS are held to the same academic standards as students enrolled in public school, and often perform at or above the state average on standardized tests.
  • Approval – Just like traditional schools throughout New Hampshire, VLACS offers a high school diploma that is approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education.
  • Traditional Curriculum – A VLACS student has access to the same traditional curriculum as public school students. Students also have access to unique middle, high school and college course not otherwise available to them in traditional school programs.
  • Cost – The cost to attend VLACS online high school diploma program is free to all NH residents-after all, VLACS is both a public school and a charter school.



  • Location – Students can attend online high school diploma programs from wherever and whenever they choose, whereas students at traditional schools must attend school at the same location and same time each and every day.
  • Pace – Students who attend online high school diploma programs at VLACS are able to work at a pace that meets both their academic and personal needs, meaning they have the option of working at a slower or accelerated pace depending upon what works for them best. Traditional school students typically follow strict academic calendars.
  • Calendar – The calendar of an online high school diploma program at VLACS is designed by the student and his/her family, while traditional school students follow a calendar that has been pre-set by administrators and teachers.
  • Curriculum – The flexibility of online high school diploma programs allows students to have access to a broad range of curriculum, while public school students must select courses that fit within pre-determined schedules and curriculum sets.

Other key differences between VLACS and traditional brick and mortar schools include:

  • VLACS is a 501(c)3 non-profit
  • VLACS offers opportunities to out-of-state students on a tuition basis
  • VLACS uses a customized learning approach
  • VLACS offers an Associate’s degree to students while in high school
  • VLACS offers a part-time option for elementary, middle school, and high school students.

So, as you can see, VLACS and traditional brick and mortar schools are very much alike-but equally as different. The biggest thing in common between the two, however, is the successful path students can follow no matter if they graduate from an online learning program or traditional school setting.

Graduates of VLACS, just like public school, get accepted and go on to attend major colleges and universities, including some of the most competitive in the country like Harvard and Dartmouth. Check out the story of Isaac Walker, a VLACS student who will attend Harvard in the fall.

To learn more about how you can become a student at VLACS, check out our virtual admissions page-registration is only a few clicks away.

Knowledge Base on computer

What’s a Knowledge Base?

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email Have a question but don’t know who to ask? VLACS’s new knowledge base is the place to start! What’s a knowledge base? It’s a …
Read More →

Back to Our Blog

Contact Us

Have a question about the curriculum, tuition, or how [VLACS] can give you more freedom to pursue an education? Reach out to us, we can help.

Contact Us Now