Students enrolled in public or nonpublic schools may take online courses as approved by their school administrations and governing bodies. Such courses may be used toward completion of high school graduation requirements and a regular high school diploma if approved by the administration of the school. The decision to accept online work for credit rests solely with the public or private school at which the individual student is enrolled. The Department of Education encourages schools to evaluate online programs and to consider awarding credit for participation in online programs.
This information is primarily intended to address the ability of an individual to obtain a high school diploma from an online source. There are many educational activities currently offering high school diplomas online. Many of these programs are rigorous and may be recognized by various accrediting agencies. Others are suspect.
The only online school currently approved by the NH Department of Education is the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) located in Exeter, NH.
The Department currently has no process in place to approve other online schools located in or out of the state. This is not a comment on the quality of education provided by such schools. We simply do not have a means to review and approve them.
If a New Hampshire resident below age 18 wishes to fulfill the compulsory education requirement of RSA 193:1 through an online school other than VLACS, the individual can only do so through a home education program pursuant to RSA 193-A. The parent of a child using an online program as his or her school must comply with all requirements of RSA 193-A:5 and 193-A:6. More information on the home education option is available calling (603) 271-3188.
The Department of Education cannot make recommendations to a school, college, or employer concerning the validity of course completion certificates, transcripts, or diplomas from online schools. The decision to accept or reject such documents rests solely with the school, college, or employer to whom they are submitted.
Students or parents seeking to identify suitable online schools should first review the information from the U.S. Department of Education located at www.ed.gov/students/prep/college/diplomamills. While this site focuses on college level programs, much of the guidance is applicable to high school programs as well.