The American School of Correspondence
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The American School of Correspondence, founded in 1897, is a distance education high school. It is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This pioneer in home studies has over two million graduates and serves approximately 40,000 students every year.

The secondary school is tuition-based, not publicly funded. The school offers its own diploma and is not a GED program. Students work at their own pace, and can often complete all of the required high school credits within less than the usual four years it takes in a traditional high school.

The school offers more than seventy courses. Every exam is hand-graded by a qualified member of the staff, which includes full-time and part-time instructors. The school awards college scholarships every year.

The American School of Correspondence

Additionally, the American School of Correspondence works with thousands of public, private, and parochial schools from all over the country to offer correspondence courses to students who do not have enough credits to graduate, have failed some courses or who are working at an accelerated rate. Since the school is one of the DETC accredited correspondence schools, these credits can be transferred to the student's high school.

For nearly one hundred years, the school was located in the Hyde Park area of Chicago. In 1997 it moved to a Lansing, IL suburb. The original building is now an architectural landmark.

What the American School of Correspondence Offers

This school is considered one of the best distance-learning high schools in the country. It combines affordable tuition fees with a top-of-the-line curriculum, which is presented in print form as well as online. Famous alumni include actress Jessica Alba, entertainers Donny and Marie Osmond, The Everly Brothers, and bestselling author Christopher Paolini.

The American School of Correspondence original building is an architectural landmark. Photo courtesy of Zol87 on Flickr

The American School of Correspondence prides itself in its Four Cs: curriculum, caring, credibility and cost.

Since you work at your own pace, it is not unusual to earn your accredited high school diploma in half the time of a traditional high school, although you can take up to six years if you like. The school offers two distinct programs – the College Preparatory and the General programs, each consisting of 18 units.

College Preparatory - This program is designed for students planning to attend college or professional school after graduation. Students are required to complete 18 courses, which includes 15 mandatory and 3 electives.

The 15 mandatory courses, recommended to be taken in this order include:

  • Build Your Writing Skills 1
  • Psychology
  • Physiology and Health
  • Essential Mathematics 1
  • Understanding English 2
  • United States History
  • Careers
  • Biology
  • Essential Mathematics 2
  • American Literature
  • Social Civics
  • Algebra 1
  • British Literature
  • Science Elective Course
  • Geometry
As electives, students may choose from business law, journalism, and several foreign language and creative art courses.

General – This program is more geared towards students planning on entering the workforce right after high school. It requires 13 mandatory credits and 5 electives.

The 13 mandatory courses are recommended to be taken in this order:

  • Build Your Writing Skills 1
  • Psychology
  • General Science
  • Essential Math 1
  • Practical English
  • United States History
  • Planning Your Career
  • Physiology and Health
  • Essential Math 2
  • Literature 1 (1/2 credit)
  • Speech — How to Talk More Effectively (1/2 credit)
  • Social Civics
  • Integrated Algebra
  • World Literature
Popular elective choices include trade courses and life skills courses. These may include automotive, carpentry, foods and decorating, depending on what your interests are and what your career goals may be.

The American School of Correspondence offers an excellent support system. Even though you work on your own, you don't have to feel like you are alone. Help is just a phone call or click away. The school tries to be as personal as possible. Instructors will write personal comments when grading printed courses and phone lines are open during normal business hours, for any questions you may have.

What Does It Cost?

Unlike public high schools, correspondence schools have to be paid for by the student. Although, this school is a non-profit school, the staff and other overhead still have to be paid.

Your tuition includes all books and other materials you need to complete the course. If you only need a few make up credits or have earned credits elsewhere, these can be transferred and will reduce the cost of your tuition.

Typically, for a full high school program you can expect to pay $1,599 – this includes all required textbooks, supplemental study materials, study guides and personal hand grading by qualified teachers. You can take up to six years to complete the program, if needed. The school accepts payments as low as $50 per month.

As one of the oldest, continually-operating US correspondence schools, its longevity alone speaks for its effectiveness.

If you want to complete high school in record time, or dropped out when you were young and now find you need an accredited high school diploma, the American School of Correspondence is an excellent choice.

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