Online High School Diploma - North Carolina

Virtual High School Diploma in North Carolina

Are you struggling with your traditional high school, needing remote learning resources for your teen, or are an adult looking to go back to high school? Penn Foster offers accredited online high school diploma¹ programs you can complete at your own pace. We meet you where you are, anywhere in the world, to help you fulfill your educational goals.

  • Penn Foster High School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and nationally accredited through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and Cognia, the world leader in providing improvement and accreditation services to education providers of all types in their pursuit of excellence in serving students.
  • Getting a high school diploma is very important, no matter what you want to do when you graduate. 
  • In our high school classes, you'll take core classes like English and math. Plus, you get to pick five more subjects that you're interested in. You could choose American Literature or Algebra, or maybe you want to learn about fixing cars or helping animals.
  • The best part is that our classes are online, so you can do your work when it fits your schedule. You get to decide how fast or slow you want to go, based on how much time you have each week.

Save up to $450 Ends 5/29/2024

Cost of Program


$1,499 Save $450


$55/month, Start for as low as $20

1-888-427-6200 (9AM - 9PM ET)

What You Will Learn

  1. How to use critical thinking and reasoning skills to complete learning tasks in English Language Arts courses.
  2. How to use critical thinking and reasoning skills to complete learning tasks in science courses.
  3. How to use declarative knowledge and demonstrate understanding to complete learning tasks in math courses.
  4. How to utilize writing skills to complete writing assessments.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

High School Diploma Career Outcomes in North Carolina

Income data from World Population Review:

Average Salary in North Carolina by Education Level

Less Than 9th Grade


High School Graduate




Penn Foster's online High School Program is all about getting you ready for what's next - whether that's a job right here in NC, going to college, the military, or a future of your own creation. You can choose a traditional high school curriculum or one of our career pathway diplomas if you already know what career you’re interested in. No matter what road you take, getting your high school diploma can help you earn more money over your lifetime. In fact, high school grads in North Carolina typically earn about $6,000 more a year in entry-level jobs compared to those who didn't graduate high school.**

State Licensing Requirements

If you are interested in pursuing post-secondary education within your state you should check with your state to understand the requirements. States may impose requirements for receiving state financial aid. For example, an online High School diploma may not be recognized by some colleges and universities within your state to receive financial aid. We recommend you check with the institution for any specific restrictions - this is particularly important for residents of New York.

What’s the Difference Between a High School Diploma and a GED in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, a high school diploma and the GED (General Educational Development) serve as milestones of secondary education, but each takes you down a different path. If you want to receive your high school diploma, you must successfully complete the state-mandated curriculum set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI). Upon graduation, you can attend college or apply for jobs.


On the other hand, the GED, overseen by the North Carolina Community College System, is a set of standardized tests designed to measure high school-level academic skills. Instead of coursework, candidates prepare to pass four main tests: Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Social Studies, and Science. The GED offers a potentially faster route to a diploma, especially for those who couldn't complete a traditional high school education. It's available to people aged 18 and older, though 16 and 17-year-olds may qualify under special conditions.


A high school diploma is universally acknowledged by colleges, employers, and institutions. The GED is also widely recognized as an equivalent, but some schools and companies might prefer a high school diploma over a GED. You need to consider your circumstances, aspirations, and the requirements of potential colleges or employers when deciding between a GED or a high school diploma.

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Cathy Breymeier

Manager, High School Course Department

“Penn Foster’s online high school program can really benefit students who struggle with a structured learning environment allowing them the opportunity to work at a flexible pace comfortable to them with hours that suit their various learning needs.  Additionally, students who are bullied, struggle with anxiety or feel a lack of acceptance in a traditional school environment can find a home with PFHS and flourish in an online learning environment.”

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Alex Thome

Vice President, High School

“The most magical thing that happens for our high school graduates, beyond the things they learn in class or achieve after, is the confidence they achieve. They start out doubting themselves, but then they realize at some point they can do it. This confidence transforms the way they see themselves and the way people around them and their families and kids see them. It’s powerful.”

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Daniel Sciarrillo

Spanish Instructor, Penn Foster

“To me, online high school is a great choice for students who feel they’ve been let down by the traditional school system, perhaps not given a fair chance there. Our program can help because it is built to help students work at their own pace, as they feel comfortable, where their teachers are easily accessible, present, and happy to assist them.”

Online High School Diploma in North Carolina - Curriculum

  • 16 core credits
  • 5 elective credits 

Estimated completion time:

  • Fast track = 6 months
  • Average time = 14 months

With Penn Foster, you can learn at whatever pace works best for you. Some learners will be more comfortable moving faster, and dedicating more time, and the fast track estimate will apply to them. The average track will apply to most learners who can dedicate a few hours per week to completing their coursework. The estimated completion times are based on completion times for learners enrolled in this program from November 2019 - October 2020, excluding withdrawals.

Our online high school diploma curriculum is a total of 21.5 credits, including your basic general education requirements, like English and math courses. Penn Foster High School students get to choose 5 elective credits, ranging from academic electives like American literature and algebra to career electives, like pharmacy technician, residential electrician, or vet assistant. If you choose to focus on a specific career in one of our pathway high school programs, your electives will be focused on skills needed for your chosen career path.

When you pick an online high school, you're the one driving your education. Our course list includes all the main classes that every North Carolina student needs to pass to graduate. But online school gives you the chance to make your learning more personal by choosing five extra classes from a big list of options. You can pick from job-focused classes like fixing cars or helping animals, classes to get you ready for college like American Literature and Geometry, or other useful courses like Economics and even Microsoft Excel. The core curriculum includes:

  • Written Communication
  • General Math
  • Biology
  • American History

Show Full Curriculum

High School Diploma Success Stories

North Carolina graduates of Penn Foster's High School Diploma program have been able to start new careers, advance in their current jobs, join the military, or pursue college degrees - all while learning at the speed that works best for them!
View Student Success Stories
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Selina L.

High School Graduate, 2021

“Obtaining my high school diploma was the first important step I needed to take in order to get to college. Penn Foster paved the way for me to take the next step into my career.”

Interested in High School Completion For Your Learners?

Penn Foster currently works with hundreds of leading employers to meet their unique organizational needs.
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How much does it cost to get your high school diploma online in North Carolina?

Getting an online high school diploma in North Carolina doesn't have to empty your wallet. With our affordable prices and flexible payment plans, you can finish your diploma when you want and without spending more than you can afford. Choose the payment plan that fits your budget and start your journey today!

Option 1: Pay in full

Save up to $450 Ends 5/29/2024

Cost of Program


$1,499 Save $450

  • Best price. Best value.
  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments
Enroll Now

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

Cost of Program


  • Pay $55 per month
  • Start for $20 down
  • All major credit and debit cards accepted
Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

cost of program


  • Pay $55 per month
  • Start for $39 down
  • Mail your payments
Enroll Now

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military benefits or our refund policy. find this this information and more about tuition and enrollment.

Tuition & Payment Options

Our Proven High School Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Start anytime
  • No exam due dates
  • Self-paced


  • Digital study guides
  • Self-check quizzes
  • Simulations and videos


  • 24/7 access to online resources
  • Online Student Community
  • Student Portal Help Center


  • Expert faculty
  • Dedicated student services
  • Robust learning resources

Online High School Diploma in North Carolina FAQs

Is online high school the same as virtual high school?

Yes, “online," “virtual,” and “remote” are all used to describe a way of learning that is done over the internet and not in a traditional brick-and-mortar high school classroom.

Is Penn Foster online high school diploma the same as home school?

While both offer an alternative to traditional schooling, Penn Foster’s online high school diploma program provides structured courses, materials, and teacher guidance through a virtual platform. Homeschooling, on the other hand, involves parents or guardians taking primary responsibility for educating their children, which can be more flexible and personalized but requires more oversight and planning by the parents. With homeschooling, parents have to make sure their child’s education meets state standards.

Can you do online school in North Carolina?

Yes, the state of North Carolina offers online education options through various virtual schools and programs, allowing students to take courses and earn a diploma online. You are also allowed to enroll in nationwide online high school programs as long as they are accredited.

How do I get my high school diploma online in North Carolina?

Find an online high school whose accreditation is recognized by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI).

  1. Register for the high school program of your choice and submit all necessary enrollment paperwork.
  2. Complete your coursework on time, engage in class discussions, and study and pass your tests.
  3. Once you meet all the school’s and state’s requirements, you can graduate!
  4. Upon completion of your final final exams, you will receive your high school diploma.

How can I get my high school diploma in North Carolina if I'm over 18?

Adults in North Carolina can pursue a high school diploma through adult high school programs, which are offered in various community colleges across the state. Alternatively, adults can also consider earning a GED, which is widely recognized as an equivalent to a high school diploma.