HSLDA Online Academy is the new Patrick Henry College Preparatory Academy. Read more >>

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? We’re ready with answers! Simply click the question to see the answer. To view all, click “expand all.” And check out our handy print button, if you’d rather read them later.

Don’t see the answer to your question here?  Please contact us.


1. About the Courses
  • What do I get when I sign up for a course today?

    — High-quality course content designed by college professors and seasoned high school educators who are experts in their fields
    — Instructors who share your Christian worldview and integrate faith and academics in their courses
    — Weekly real-time sessions in an interactive virtual classroom
    — Online instructional materials that you can access over and over, as needed
    — Individual assignment feedback from your Classroom Teacher
    — Your instructor available to answer your questions and help you succeed in the course
    — An online delivery system that’s easy to learn and use
    — 24/7 technical support for your online course

  • What does “AP®” mean?

    The Academy offers 9 AP® courses. See a full course list here.

    “AP®”—which stands for “Advanced Placement®”—refers to high school courses taught at the college level. The courses prepare students for the College Board’s standardized AP® subject exams. The College Board approves the syllabus for each course that earns the AP® title, making sure that it covers specific content that meets guidelines for rigor and quality.

    AP® courses help students get ahead for college! First, many colleges will give credit on the basis of high AP® exam scores, or allow students to place out of introductory classes. Second, AP® courses show a high level of achievement that can give students an advantage in college admissions. Third, the in-depth content and coursework encountered in AP® courses help develop skills for college success.

    For more information about how AP® courses work, click here.

  • What are AP® exams and how do they work?

    AP® exams are subject exams offered every May that correspond to the content and skills students learn in a specific AP® course. A high score on an AP® exam can qualify students to earn college credit at many colleges. You can read more about the exams on the College Board’s website.

    You may also like to take a look at our students’ past exam scores.

    Taking the AP® exam is not a requirement in any HSLDA Online Academy course, and some students choose not to take any exams. But we encourage students who have performed well in their courses to take advantage of the college credit opportunity the exams provide.

    AP® exams are taken in-person rather than online. HSLDA Online Academy does not issue or administer AP® exams.

    If you are a homeschooled student, or you attend a school that doesn’t offer AP® testing, you can arrange to test at a local school. Test registration typically takes place between January and early March. During the spring semester, we’ll send your family reminders about AP® registration deadlines. Please note, AP® exams are only offered in May each year.

  • Can I see a list of a course’s textbooks?

    Yes, you can view the required books for each course through the HSLDA Online Academy bookstore. You’ll need to click “Order your books” to access the course book lists, but you can use this link just for browsing, even if you’re not ready to purchase books yet.

    We typically post updated booklists and open our online bookstore in June each year. Before the bookstore opens, you can find information about books and materials on the course description page for each subject. Access the course lists here and click on the name of the course that interests you. You’ll find a question about books in the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the course description page.

    Please be sure to check the academic year on the book list:

    • If the book list indicates that it is for the 2015–16 academic year, then these titles have been finalized for the coming school year.

    • If the book list refers to the 2014–15 academic year, you may use it to get a general idea of the books for the course, but should not purchase the books until an up-to-date list is available.

  • Does HSLDA Online Academy issue a high school transcript?

    HSLDA Online Academy courses are offered “a la carte”—you choose the courses you want to incorporate into your overall high school program—so transcripts aren’t issued.

    For homeschooling families, it’s easy to add grades from your online courses to your own homeschool high school transcript. At the end of a course, we’ll send you an official statement of your student’s final grade, for your records.

    If you attend another school, or are part of a homeschool umbrella program that manages transcripts, ask your school about its transcript policy. We have worked with schools in the past to provide courses to their students, and most have been willing to incorporate online course grades into their students’ transcripts. However, each school has its own policy for accepting outside credit toward graduation requirements, so we encourage you to contact the school you’d like to transfer the credit to.

2. About Studying Online
  • How do the online courses work?

    Taking a course online provides flexibility for students with varied schedules. They can access instructional materials and complete weekly assignments when it fits around their other activities and commitments. The flexibly scheduled, independent work your student does online in a given week may include watching a lecture video, listening to an audio recording, reading posted documents, uploading an assignment, or taking a quiz.
       
    Though some online coursework is independent, HSLDA Online Academy courses are not simply independent studies. Students receive personal feedback from their instructors on assignments and can always contact them with questions. They have many opportunities to learn interactively with their instructors and fellow students in discussion forums, via email, and in live class sessions.

    In a face-to-face course, students often don’t get a chance to have the teacher repeat the material. Here, if your student’s teacher posts a video or audio lecture, it’s easy to go back and review. All of the weekly live class sessions are recorded, too—so if your student missed anything, or wants to learn it even better, the recording is available to go back to at any time. It’s ideal for your student’s learning—and for mastering the material.

  • What is a live class session?

    In every HSLDA Online Academy course, students meet weekly with their instructor and classmates in an online classroom for additional teaching, discussion, Q&A, or group activities. The class sessions are interactive and are conducted using a web meeting software with video, audio, chat, and application-sharing capabilities.

    Scheduled, real-time sessions in the online classroom are not the only form of instruction available in a HSLDA Online Academy course, but are offered in addition to lectures or other instructional materials that students are able to access online at their convenience.

    When they register, students will need to select a particular class section and live class meeting time. Additional class sections may be added to the schedule at a later point in the course registration period. Registered students will be notified of any changes to the live session schedule.

  • What if my students has to miss a scheduled class?

    All live class sessions are recorded for later viewing. While it is recommended that students attend each live class session, students can make arrangements with their instructors to watch the recordings and receive full participation credit.

    Students should contact their instructor at the start of their course to inform the instructor of any foreseen schedule conflicts. 

  • How easy is it to learn to navigate an online course?

    Before your course begins, you’ll be able to go through a “Student Orientation Tutorial” to learn how the online system works. The Tutorial is split into units, and each unit takes you through simple “how to” instructions for particular online tools and features—for example, “How to take a quiz online” or “How to submit an assignment.”

  • Does HSLDA Online Academy provide technical support?

    Certainly! When you sign up today, you get 24/7 access to the Technical Helpdesk for your online course—as well as personal, as-needed help from the HSLDA Online Academy staff during business hours (9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., M–F).

3. About the Teachers
  • Who teaches the courses?

    All HSLDA Online Academy instructors are bible-believing Christians, committed to helping their students grow spiritually as well as academically.

    Most HSLDA Online Academy courses have two instructors—a Master Teacher and a Classroom Teacher. The Master Teacher is the visionary behind the course who personally designs and creates course content and oversees the progress of the course during the year. All are seasoned high school or college educators whose teaching is informed by a variety of academic and practical experiences in their respective fields.

    Each Classroom Teacher is a fully qualified instructor with a degree and specific knowledge that leads your student to success—and a heart to help your student individually improve and grow, while thriving in the online environment.

    You can read about each of our instructors on this page.

  • How much interaction will my student have with the teacher?

    Studying online doesn’t mean studying alone! Every week, the Classroom Teacher leads a live, interactive class session in a virtual classroom setting. Between sessions, the Classroom Teacher is available to answer questions via email or course message boards.

    The Classroom Teacher also grades your student’s work and provides assignment feedback to help your student improve.

  • Can we contact the teacher with questions during the course?

    Absolutely! Classroom Teachers welcome questions from parents and students throughout the course. You’ll receive instructions on how to email the Classroom Teacher in the weeks immediately preceding the start of classes. If your question would be better addressed by the Master Teacher, Academy staff, or technical support, the Classroom Teacher will make sure it gets to the right person.

4. About the Students
  • Do the courses have age or grade-level requirements?

    HSLDA Online Academy courses are designed for high school students.

    • Our standard high school courses are ideal for the early high school years, but some students may be ready in 8th grade.

    • Our AP® courses are typically junior- or senior-level courses, though advanced sophomore students may also be ready to take them.

    Because you, as parents, are most familiar with your student’s abilities, you are in the best position to make decisions about course readiness—but we’re here to help you make an informed decision.

    • General guidelines: A good place to start is our Academic Readiness page, which describes some characteristics of well-prepared students.

    • Course-specific guidelines: We have course-specific entrance guidelines as well. Check our course lists for the specific course you’re interested in, then click on the name of the course. At the bottom of each course description page, read the information under the question, “Am I ready to take this course?” to help you make your decisions.

    • Pretests: In some cases, the course instructor may provide a pretest, which will also be listed on the course description page if available. (Currently, a pretest is available only for AP® Calculus AB.) Your teen may take the pretest at any time, as the documents are self-scoring (you grade the test with the answer key provided). If your student does well on the pretest, then by all means, sign up. We’re happy to have you with us.

    • Additional questions: If you have questions about whether our classes would be a good fit for your student, please feel free to call us at 540-338-8290, or email academy@hslda.org.

  • What kind of students succeed at HSLDA Online Academy?

    Successful students are self-motivated and self-disciplined learners. They check their email and coursework regularly, complete assignments on time, actively participate in class discussions, and contact their instructor whenever they have questions. They work hard and have a strong desire to learn.

    Your student must also have a baseline of knowledge for the course material, have strong writing and reading skills, and be willing to commit time to their course (5–10 hours per week for standard high school courses, 10–15 hours per week for AP® courses).

  • Do you provide accommodations for students with learning challenges or disabilities?

    The format of our courses allows for a lot of flexibility for students who have learning challenges or disabilities. For slow readers, timed tests can be set for longer test-taking times. Parents can read the text to the student. Online components can be viewed multiple times, as needed.

    For AP® courses, the College Board offers testing accommodations for the exams and our teachers can take these accommodations into consideration while prepping your student.

    If you’re a parent who has the time and dedication to help your student, we’re happy to work with you. We work with you and our teachers to find the right approach on a case-by-case basis, so please contact us to discuss the best options for your student by phone (540-338-8290) or email (academy@hslda.org).

5. Signing Up
  • How do I register for a course?

    It only takes a few minutes to sign up online using our simple course registration form.

    If you have any questions while registering, please call 540-338-8290 (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern, M–F) or send an email to academy@hslda.org.

  • I've already signed up for one course and want to add another. Is the registration process different?

    Yes—the registration process for returning students is a little different. So we don’t end up with duplicate accounts, students need to log in to their existing account to register for more courses.

    Use the Student Login Portal in the upper right corner to access your account. Once you’ve logged in, click on the “Enroll in an additional course” link. Signing up through your student account also ensures that you won’t be charged more than one registration fee in the same school year.

  • When are the registration deadlines?

    EARLY REGISTRATION – 2015–16
    Sign up by April 22 to save $100 per course.

    FALL AND YEARLONG COURSES – 2015–16
    Registration for fall and yearlong courses closes on Friday, August 14, 2015.
    Fall and yearlong classes begin on Monday, August 24, 2015.

    SPRING COURSES – 2016
    Registration for spring-only courses closes on Friday, January 8, 2016.
    Spring-only classes begin on Monday, January 11, 2016.

    Please note that full payment is due at the time of registration. If you plan to pay by check rather than by credit card, please submit your registration form two weeks ahead of the deadlines listed above so that your payment reaches us in time.

    Remember—the course you want to take may fill up before the deadline, so register now to reserve your seat!

    For other important dates, please see the 2015–16 Academic Calendar.

  • How much do the courses cost?

    Tuition costs vary depending on the type of course you choose, the time of year when you register, and your HSLDA membership status. You’ll find a full breakdown of course costs on this page.

  • I’m a member of HSLDA. How do I do to get my member savings?

    It’s easy. On the registration page, look for the field for your HSLDA member number. Simply place your 7-digit number in the field and your discount will be applied automatically.

    Note: You will need an active membership to receive the discounted member rate. If you are unsure whether your membership is active, you can call HSLDA’s Membership Department at 540-338-8290. You can renew your membership by phone or online.

    Visit this page to learn more about special pricing for HSLDA members.

  • I'm not member of HSLDA. How do I join to get member savings?

    You can join HSLDA online or call 540-338-5600 and ask for the HSLDA Membership Department.

    Visit this page to learn more about special pricing for HSLDA members.

    It can take two to three weeks to process your application and activate your member number. Membership applications submitted online typically take the least time to process.

    If you’re close to the course registration deadline and concerned about the timing, please call us at 540-338-8290.

  • If my plans change after I register for a course, can I get a refund?

    If you need to drop a course, log into your student account and click “Drop this course” next to the name of the course you wish to drop. You will be eligible for a partial refund of course tuition up to the tenth business day of the semester when the course begins. After the tenth business day, no refunds are available. The $25 registration fee is non-refundable.

    Read HSLDA Online Academy’s full refund policy.

  • Are scholarships available?

    We don’t offer financial aid or scholarships—but families facing financial challenges may be eligible for a Home School Foundation grant. To contact the Home School Foundation, click here.

  • When are tuition and fees due?

    Payment is due in full to reserve your student’s seat in a course. Typically, payment is made by credit card during the registration process. You may also select to pay by check on your registration form, but please be aware that space is not reserved in the class until the Academy receives your check payment. 

6. Getting Started
  • When do classes start and end?

    FALL-ONLY COURSES – 2015

    • Begin Monday, August 24, 2015

    • End Friday, December 11, 2015

    YEARLONG COURSES – 2015–16

    • Fall semester begins Monday, August 24, 2015

    • Fall semester ends Friday, December 11, 2015

    • Spring semester begins Monday, January 4, 2016

    • Spring semester ends Friday, April 22, 2016

    SPRING-ONLY COURSES – 2016

    • Begin Monday, January 11, 2016

    • End Friday, April 29, 2016

    For other important dates, please see the 2015–16 Academic Calendar.

  • How do I log into my course?

    Immediately after you register, you’ll receive an email confirming your successful registration. Within the next few days, after we’ve processed your registration, you’ll receive a second email containing your username, password, and login instructions.

    If you have trouble logging in, please call 540-338-8290 or email academy@hslda.org.

    Your online courses will become available only when the semester starts. A Student Orientation Tutorial will be available a little before the start of the semester. If the “Access your online course” link in your student account doesn’t take you anywhere yet, don’t worry—we probably just haven’t activated it yet, because we’re busy getting the online campus fully set up for the new school year. If your class starts in less than a month and the link still isn’t working, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

  • How do I order books for the course?

    You can order your books online through the HSLDA Online Academy bookstore. Books for the 2015–16 school year will be available starting in June 2015.

    Please note: You will need to create a distinct bookstore account, separate from your Academy username and password. If you are purchasing from our online bookstore for the first time, please click “I don't have an account” when prompted to log in.

    Do you have questions about ordering books? The bookstore can address your questions about new or used books, ordering and shipping, or buyback and returns. You can reach the bookstore’s customer service at 1-800-325-3252.

  • When will I hear from the teacher?

    The Classroom Teacher will send an email to all the students and parents in the class in the weeks immediately preceding the start of the course. Your Classroom Teacher’s email will include any course-specific instructions you need to begin well, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have before the course starts.