Many states now offer tuition-free online schools for resident students under a certain age (often 21).
Most virtual schools are charter schools; they receive government funding and are run by a private organization.
Some states also offer their own online public schools.
These virtual programs generally operate from a state office or a school district. Some online public schools offer a limited number of remedial or advanced courses not available in brick-and-mortar public school campuses. A few states choose to fund “seats” for students in private online schools.
The number of available seats may be limited and students are usually asked to apply through their public school guidance counselor. When choosing an online public school, look for an established program that is regionally accredited and has a track record of success.
Be wary of new schools that are disorganized, are unaccredited, or have been the subject of public scrutiny.
For more suggestions on evaluating virtual schools see: How to Choose an Online High School.
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By Jamie Littlefield Missouri offers resident students the opportunity to take online public school courses for free.
Below is a list of no-cost online schools currently serving elementary and high school students in Missouri.
In order to qualify for the list, schools must meet the following qualifications: classes must be available completely online, they must offer services to state residents, and they must be funded by the government.
Virtual schools listed may be charter schools, state-wide public programs, or private programs that receive government funding.