7 Free Online Credit Recovery Programs for High Schoolers

High school is a critical phase in a student’s life and is the first of many challenges that will come their way as they become adults. Some students pass with flying colors but for some, the road to graduation can be difficult, marked by academic or personal setbacks. 

As per data collected in a survey, around 1 million students are unable to complete their high school or equivalent diploma (such as GED, HiSET, etc.) every year due to varying setbacks. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean the end of the world for them as credit recovery programs stand at the end of the tunnel as a beacon of light. If you fail to get the grades required to pass high school, you can recover the lost credits through the program and get back on track toward graduation. 

In this extensive guide, we will be looking at some popular online credit recovery programs for high schoolers. But, before that, let us learn more about what these programs entail. 

What are credit recovery programs?

Credit recovery programs are a set of strategies that help students recover lost credits and get back on track toward earning a high school diploma. Students can be deficient in credits due to personal or academic reasons but these programs give them a second chance to successfully complete specific courses. 

The primary purpose of credit recovery programs is to ensure that high school students (and even adults) have every opportunity to graduate on time and with the necessary credits. These programs aim to avoid delayed graduation for the students as they affect their educational and career prospects negatively.

Colleges are skeptical of furthering the educational aspirations of students who do not have a high school diploma and even their job prospects are limited. Therefore, credit recovery programs are absolutely essential. 

Types of credit recovery programs 

Credit recovery programs are of varying times. Let us learn a little more about each:

1. In-School Credit Recovery

In-school credit recovery programs are offered within the same school premises where a student is enrolled. These programs provide an opportunity for students to retake courses they may not have passed during the regular school year. The biggest advantage of in-school credit recovery programs is they allow students to work directly with their teachers in a familiar setting. 

This option is excellent for students who prefer face-to-face interaction and the structured environment of a classroom setting. 

2. Online Credit Recovery

Online credit recovery programs have become quite popular in recent years owing to their flexibility and accessibility. These programs are ideal for students who like studying at their own pace without stringent constraints and unrealistic schedules. Since they cover a wide range of subjects, students can focus on the specific courses they need to retake. 

3. Summer School Programs

Summer school credit recovery programs are akin to crash courses. They are intensive, short-term educational programs held during the summer months. These programs help students recover lost credits before they start the new academic year. Through these programs, students can retake courses they didn’t pass or make up for credits they missed during the regular school year.

4. Evening or Weekend Classes

Evening or weekend classes are specifically designed for students with busy daytime schedules. This program is offered outside the regular school hours and helps you study while also honoring your work or familial commitments. 

The courses and opportunities for evening or weekend classes are the same as regular in-house classes but the schedule is more flexible to cater to your needs.   

5. Credit Recovery Through Community Colleges

Some high school students also opt for credit recovery through local community colleges. There are a wide range of course options and being in a college environment can help prepare students for the future. 

Free online credit recovery programs for high schoolers

As we have mentioned earlier, opting for online credit recovery programs is an excellent way to regain lost credits at your own pace. Out here, we’ve listed some popular free credit recovery programs that you can access online. 

1. K12 Online School

K12 Online School offers a wide range of educational programs, including credit recovery options for high school students. Some other education programs offered by them include STEM education, special educational services, and online middle school. It is a fully accredited school with certified teachers who create a virtual environment conducive to learning.

The credit recovery program is offered throughout the year and is easy to access with a variety of courses that you can pick from. While the major subjects include math, science, history, and English, the electives offered encompass Spanish, physical education, and health. 

The course can begin any time you want to and you have access to all resources. You get a comprehensive schedule and the utmost flexibility to make the process easier for you. K12 also offers a tuition-based summer credit recovery program. 

2. American Online High School

Another fully accredited online institution, American High School offers around 500 courses designed to cater to various students. When it comes to credit recovery, students get the opportunity to enroll in up to 6 courses. However, you have to complete all courses within two months to receive the credits and transfer them back to your school. 

The students are required to get permission from their high school principal or guidance counselor before enrolling in this online credit recovery program to ensure the credits will be accepted by the institution. 

3. iSchool Virtual Academy 

Fully accredited and tuition-free, the iSchool Virtual Academy offers classes through standards 3 to 12. Students can complete the course within the safety of their house without foregoing their personal or extracurricular commitments. 

The credit recovery program allows you to recover lost credits to graduate and also provides one-on-one coaching, career counseling, career aptitude testing, etc.  

We must add here that this online school was primarily designed for athletes who can complete their education while staying focused on sports. 

5. ThrivePoint High School

ThrivePoint High School was established with the goal of enabling students throughout the State of Arizona to reach their full potential. The school focuses on delivering personalized and challenging education that prepares the students for what lies ahead. In addition, the school lays emphasis on the overall development of the students by teaching them how to be responsible citizens. 

The online credit recovery program at ThrivePoint offers flexible learning options without compromising the quality of education provided. The school offers one-on-one support and a customized curriculum to cater to a large group of students. 

At this online school, students are given the support of a highly dedicated staff who offer free tutoring sessions so that they can recover academically and chart their own path. This program is offered to students in Glendale, Arizona, Phoenix, Buckeye, Avondale, and Surprise. 

6. Aceleon

Acelon, which is the acronym for Adult and Community Education School, provides a wide range of classes to adults in Leon City. The school offers several electives, language courses, GED prep classes, and credit recovery programs to students in order to help them find areas they excel in or are truly passionate about. 

The online credit recovery program by Acelon consists of student-oriented modules taught by qualified teaching professionals. You need written permission from your school’s guidance counselor to enroll in this program. The program gives you access to a wide range of resources once you start the classes to help you progress and recover the credits needed for graduation. 

7. California Pacific Charter Schools

Designed to facilitate flexible education, California Pacific Charter Schools has an experienced team and comprehensive curriculum that makes online learning easy. They have classes ranging right from kindergarten to standard 12 and allow students to access coursework 24/7.

Students can connect with the teachers during the allotted time slot or opt for extensive tutoring to meet their needs. The school deliberately keeps its intake small so that students can receive individualized attention. 

Their credit recovery program is designed for students lagging by at least one semester. With online flexibility, students can regain credits from previously unsuccessful classes. Regardless of the number of courses needed for recovery, CALPAC works collaboratively to help students attain their objectives. Besides, the school offers counseling sessions for students who need further guidance. 

Advantages of free online credit recovery programs

While credit recovery programs are usually held in schools and aligned institutions, students often have to pay hefty tuition for them. Credit recovery programs that are held online and free have several advantages. Some of these are:

1. Flexibility

If a busy schedule is why you haven’t been able to recover your credits, the flexibility offered by online recovery programs would be a huge relief for you. You can learn at your own pace without being worried about catching up on the coursework. 

2. Affordability 

The biggest advantage of online credit recovery programs is that they are free and therefore students from lower-income households can afford them. So, you do not have to pay additional tuition or repeat the school year to get the credits necessary for graduation. 

3. Customized Learning Options

Online credit recovery programs allow you to take up specific courses instead of signing up for all subjects. So, you can create a personalized study plan and stick to it. You don’t have to clear all subjects but only those in which you have low credits. 


Free online credit recovery programs are particularly valuable for high school students who haven’t been able to get the required credits necessary for graduation. Instead of being left behind due to poor grades, they can recover their credits and achieve their educational goals. 

The best part about these programs is that they are flexible, with a wide variety of courses, and have no such time limit on completion. So, you can work on the course when you have time and graduate high school at an even pace. 

You no longer have to feel overwhelmed or anxious about credit recovery. The myriad options available ensure that you can smoothly pass high school without hindering your academic or career prospects.

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