9 Online Learning Resources for High School Students

January 31, 2024
By AdmissionSight
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9 Online Learning Resources for High School Students

Are you a high school student with dreams of getting into your ideal college? If yes, you’re likely familiar with the challenge of preparing for this crucial phase of your academic journey. It’s more than just about getting good grades; it’s about being fully prepared. In today’s digital age, a wealth of resources is available at your fingertips, making college prep less daunting and more manageable.  This blog is your guide to nine online learning resources for high school students that can help streamline your college preparation process. From mastering standardized tests to crafting a standout application essay, these tools are designed to give you an edge in your college admissions journey.

1. Brown Pre-College Online Courses

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $3,094 – $5,314
  • Duration: 1 to 6 weeks
  • Eligibility: High school students

Brown University’s Pre-College Online Courses offer high school students a unique opportunity to experience college-level learning in a dynamic, virtual environment. Catering to students completing grades 9 to 12, and aged 14 to 18, these courses are designed to provide a thorough immersion in various academic fields, mirroring the richness of Brown’s undergraduate curriculum.

brown monitor

The courses range from one to six weeks and are offered in various formats: asynchronous, mostly asynchronous, or blended, catering to different learning styles and schedules. This flexible structure allows students to manage their time effectively, balancing rigorous academic pursuits with their personal responsibilities. The program offers an extensive selection of over 100 courses, covering diverse areas such as environmental studies, medicine, leadership, law, psychology, mathematics, creative writing, history, and more. This variety ensures that you can find a course that aligns with your interests or introduces you to new disciplines.

2. Cornell Online Courses

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $1,750 per credit hour
  • Duration: Self-paced
  • Eligibility: Undergraduates, high school students, professionals, alumni, and other interested adults

Cornell University offers a dynamic and flexible online learning experience, allowing you to engage with its distinguished faculty and curriculum from anywhere in the world. You have the opportunity to enroll in various online courses across different academic sessions, including winter, spring, and summer, each offering a unique set of courses and experiences.

For the Spring 2024 semester, running from January 22 to May 18, there is an undergraduate course available to precollege students: BIOEE 1781, an introduction to evolution and diversity. This course, like others offered, is part of Cornell’s commitment to providing high-quality online education to a diverse range of students, including high school students​​.

3. Open Yale Courses

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: Self-paced
  • Eligibility: No eligibility criteria

One of the best free online learning resources for high school students, Open Yale Courses (OYC) offers you a unique opportunity to access a selection of introductory courses from Yale University, completely free of charge. This initiative is designed to broaden educational access for everyone interested in learning. The courses are taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale and cover a wide range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.

Yale University signage

You don’t need to register to access these courses, and while they don’t offer course credit, a degree, or a certificate through the OYC website, they provide an invaluable resource for self-directed and life-long learners, educators, as well as high school and college students. The courses are available in various formats, including high-quality video lectures, audio versions, and searchable transcripts, allowing you to learn in the way that suits you best.

4. Stanford Online High School

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $5,970 – $29,850
  • Duration: Operates as a six-year school
  • Eligibility: Grades 7-12

The curriculum at Stanford Online High School (OHS) is notably challenging, ranging from advanced middle-school classes to 32 post-AP and university-level courses, designed to stimulate and engage students at every academic level.

Key to the Stanford OHS experience is the quality of instruction. About 65% of instructors hold Ph.D.’s in their respective fields, providing you with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from and work closely with scholarly educators. This is complemented by an individualized student support system that includes wellness counselors, academic advisors, and college counselors, all dedicated to helping you reach your full academic potential.

5. MIT Opencourseware

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: Self-paced
  • Eligibility: No eligibility criteria

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is an initiative by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offering you free and open access to a vast collection of courses across every department and degree program at MIT. This digital trove includes over 7,000 lectures straight from MIT classrooms, which you can watch on the OCW YouTube channel. It’s a free and open publication of materials from more than 2,500 MIT courses, covering the entire spectrum of the MIT curriculum. Whether you’re interested in engineering, humanities, or the sciences, there’s something for you.

an aerial view of MIT

What makes OCW unique is not just its comprehensive coverage but also its commitment to making high-quality educational materials universally accessible. With the recent launch of its next-generation platform, OCW has become even more user-friendly, especially for mobile users. This update means that no matter where you are, you can access MIT’s world-class content on your phone, opening up new learning opportunities.

6. Class Central

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: Self-paced
  • Eligibility: No eligibility criteria

Class Central stands as a comprehensive online education platform where you can find a wide array of courses from various universities and institutions. It serves as a catalog that allows you to browse and enroll in massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by top-tier educational platforms like edX, Udacity, and FutureLearn. Class Central specializes in bringing together courses from different providers, making it easier for you to access a diverse range of learning opportunities in one place.

The platform caters to a global audience, offering courses in various disciplines, including technology, arts, and science. It’s known for its user-friendly interface, which helps you easily find courses that fit your interests and schedule. Class Central also keeps pace with the evolving online education landscape, regularly updating its offerings to include the latest courses and learning paths.

7. Udacity

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $249 per month
  • Duration: Self-paced
  • Eligibility: No eligibility criteria

Another one of the online learning resources for high school students, Udacity, is a cutting-edge online learning platform that specializes in providing Nanodegree programs, a term they use for their unique, compact courses. These programs are crafted to equip you with the skills needed for future careers, particularly in technology and business domains.

a female student in an online class

Renowned for collaborating with industry giants like Google and Microsoft, Udacity ensures that the content of its courses aligns with the current demands of the job market. The platform offers an extensive range of Nanodegree programs in various fields such as programming, data science, artificial intelligence, and more, enabling you to gain practical skills and advance your career. What sets Udacity apart is its focus on quality and real-world applicability. The courses, co-created with leading tech companies, are project-based, offering hands-on experience in tackling real-world scenarios.

8. Coursera

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $399 per user/year
  • Duration: less than 12 months
  • Eligibility: No eligibility criteria

Coursera continues to be a prominent player in the online education space. It collaborates with leading universities and companies to offer a wide array of courses, specializations, and degree programs. The platform’s content is renowned for its quality, thanks to its partnership with institutions like Stanford and Duke University, as well as industry giants like Google and IBM.

This collaboration ensures that the courses are not only informative but also relevant to current industry standards. Each course typically spans 4-6 weeks and includes several hours of video lessons weekly, along with graded assessments, quizzes, and forum participation. Specializations, which are grouped courses, can vary in length from 4-6 months to a year. Degree programs, created in partnership with top universities, usually require 1-3 years of study​​.

Coursera’s educational offerings are segmented into three business areas: Consumer, Enterprise, and Degrees. The Consumer segment focuses on individual learners with courses, guided projects, and specializations. The Enterprise segment provides professional certificates in various fields such as data science, technology, and business. Finally, the Degrees segment offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and postgraduate programs in data science, public health, management, computer science, and more.

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up, remember that preparing for college is a journey that requires dedication, effort, and the right resources. The online learning tools we’ve explored are just the beginning. They provide a strong foundation for your college prep, but your success ultimately depends on how you use them.

Stay curious, keep learning, and remember that every step you take brings you closer to your dream college. The future is bright, and it’s yours for the taking. So go ahead, make the most of these resources, and take one step closer to turning your college dreams into reality.

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