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Can You Take High School Classes Online to Replace Low Grades?

by Dr. Kelly S. Meier, studioD

Encountering a difficult class in high school and earning a poor grade is not the end of the world. Many high schools provide options for replacing low grades such as summer school or evening classes. Increasingly, online classes have become a viable option to improve your grade-point average. Online classes provide scheduling flexibility, the opportunity to work at your own pace. Some high schools provide online classes. You can also explore online academies that charge fees for classes and materials.

Do Your Research

It is important to review your school policies so that you are aware of the guidelines for replacing classes you’ve completed. You’ll also need to know requirements for acceptable online schools. For example, Archbishop Mitty High School in California only accepts online courses from accredited schools. Finally, seek advice from your teachers and counselors to be certain re-taking the class will make enough of a difference to compensate you for your time and money.

Develop A Plan

Start by meeting with your high school counselor to determine your academic needs. Ask about the courses that would be most advantageous to re-take. You should consult with your teachers to ensure that online curriculum will satisfy the requirements of the course you are trying to replace. Consider your personal schedule and determine the best time to insert an additional class into your daily routine. Online classes require self-discipline and, in some cases, scheduled discussion time, so planning and organization are key.

Gathering Resources

Using a variety of resources will increase your success in an online school. Research the type of computer and operating system you’ll need before enrolling. If you’re interested in working on your class during a study hall at school, ask your principal or counselor for permission in advance. Some online classes have continuous enrollment. It may be helpful to take an online class during your high school break periods or in the summer. You’ll also need textbooks and course materials. Some online schools provide these materials in an online format. Others require you to order books before beginning your course.


Check out the application process for the school of your choice. You’ll want to investigate the cost of attendance and how course completion will be communicated to your high school. Ask about the refund policy for courses. In some cases, you’ll have one to two weeks to determine if the class is a good fit. If you’re unsure about the format or the curriculum, consider dropping the class rather than continuing your enrollment and risking failure. In most cases, you should receive an orientation packet within 24 hours of enrolling. Log in and begin learning how to navigate the educational platform so that you are comfortable in the online environment.

About the Author

Dr. Kelly S. Meier is a professor and college administrator for a large public institution in Minnesota. She received her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University and her master's degree and doctorate from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has published more than 15 books on education, group development and diversity.

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