Elite college preparatory schools provide a solid foundation for your child to get into prestigious colleges and excel in careers beyond. But with structured schedules and geographic restrictions, some of the best prep schools in the country may be out of reach. That’s a problem an online education can solve. During the pandemic, all schools were forced to deliver content online and now many are taking a good hard look at whether they should make that temporary fix an option to qualifying students across the globe.
Why Are Elite Prep Schools Offering Online Programs?
Even before the COVID-19 Pandemic forced everyone to go online, virtual learning had become an accepted format for colleges throughout the country, with more than 37 percent of students—equaling more than 7 million people—taking some distance education courses. Enter the pandemic, and the numbers shot up. More than half of higher ed students took at least one online course in 2019-2020. Some elite prep schools, seeing the increased popularity of online learning, realized they had an opportunity and a responsibility to provide their high-quality education in a format that could reach a more diverse audience. No longer restricted by geography or a standard schedule, some online prep school programs now offer more flexibility and access than ever before.
Is an Online Prep School Right for Your Student?
Online prep schools combine the rigor of an elite school with the flexibility and independence of virtual learning. They require more maturity, self-discipline, and responsibility than on-campus learning. Your child will need to set their own study schedule, be proactive in seeking out help, and also be comfortable in an environment where they may not always get the kind of oversight they’ve grown accustomed to. Additionally, because online prep schools are often affiliated with on-campus schools, your student will be held to the same high standard as the elite brick-and-mortar institution. Expect academically challenging coursework and strict standards of excellence. From school to school, the format may vary, however. While many institutions embrace asynchronous learning, where students always work independently, others use a hybrid of asynchronous and synchronous. The latter ensures ￼more engagement and accountability as your student will need to log in at a specific time to participate in real-time lectures and class discussions. Before applying to an elite online prep school, have a talk with your child to make sure they understand the expectations, advantages, and challenges they might face.
What to Look for in an Elite Online Prep School
Once you’ve determined that an online format may be suitable for your child’s high school experience, you need to select a school that is suitable to their needs, abilities, and aspirations. As you research possible schools, ask a few important questions:
- What is the reputation of the parent school?
- Do the institutional values align with yours?
- What are the credentials of the faculty?
- Will the curriculum be robust, and also creative?
- What kind of support can your child expect?
- Will character formation be a component of their education?
- How will they connect with their online peers?
- How do students fare upon graduation?
- What do current students and parents think?
High-performing students like yours likely thrive in a rich and ￼dynamic learning environment, and that is exactly what elite prep schools provide. From the core curriculum to intensive academic tracks and growth opportunities outside the norm, you should see a mix of different courses and programs. This variety helps your child to develop in multiple areas of their life and become a more well-rounded student and person. The best online schools sacrifice none of ￼these expectations.
Get All the Benefits of an Elite Prep School, Online
Character development, academic challenge, top-notch educators, stellar reputation, equally-motivated peers; much of what you value in an elite prep school can be experienced online. If you live in an area that isn’t close to prep schools or have a non-traditional schedule that doesn’t mesh well with the typical public or private school format, online prep schools are a worthwhile alternative. An elite prep school diploma can truly stand out to college admission committees, not to mention the stellar preparation your child will receive. Consider the online route to free your child up to live the life they want and still get the ￼educational experience you’ve come to value. Plus, online learning can help prepare your child for the modern hybrid and online courses that many colleges now offer.
Gravitas is the global extension of The Stony Brook School, an elite college preparatory school with a century-old reputation for delivering education excellence. Upon The Stony Brook School foundation, Gravitas has intentionally built an excellent and supportive online learning environment that can challenge your student to reach their potential in all aspects of their life. Please contact us to learn more.