American School

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Basic Information

Phone Number: 708-418-2800
Fax Number: 708-418-2180

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Additional Information

Founder/President/Principal: R.T. Miller, Founder; Valerie J. Riley, President
School Type: Distance Learning, Online, Paper-Based
Founded: 1897
Ages/Grades: All ages are accepted for courses in grades 6-12
School Size: 25,000 students
Tuition:

As of July 1, 2018, a full high school diploma program consisting of 20 units of credit (4 years) for students in grades 9-12 costs $3600. A full middle school program consisting of 15 units of credit (3 years) for students in grades 6-8 costs $2700. Pro-rated pricing is available for students who need fewer than the full number of credits to graduate. Individual subjects for credit recovery or enrichment also are available for purchase at a cost of $150-$400 per credit. The cost of tuition includes all study materials, grading of exams, and access to the Online Student Center, where students and parents can view academic records and access assistance around the clock.

Financial Aid:

As a non-profit institution, American School is not able to offer financial aid. American School does, however, offer an affordable monthly payment plan starting at $100 a month for students in full year and diploma programs. American School also offers post-secondary scholarships to deserving graduates who wish to continue their educations at an accredited college or university.

Departments:

American School is proud to offer a large selection of high school and middle school courses for continuing education. Online and paper-based courses are available in traditional subjects like English, math, science and social studies as well as elective subjects like business, career and technical education, fine arts and world languages. American School also offers AP courses for high school students and honors courses for middle school and high school students.

Curriculum:

American School is proud to offer a large selection of high school and middle school courses for continuing education. Online and paper-based courses are available in traditional subjects like English, math, science and social studies as well as elective subjects like business, career and technical education, fine arts and world languages. American School also offers AP courses for high school students and honors courses for middle school and high school students.

Support Services:

American School maintains a student service staff and a student accounts staff who are available to assist students with various concerns. American School’s policy is to reply to all emails within one business day and is available to assist students over the phone during business hours.

System Requirements:

There are no system requirements for paper-based courses. Visit www.americanschool.org/online-learning to learn more about the technical requirements for our ever-expanding online learning offerings.

Mission Statement:

The American School, a not for profit distance learning institution utilizing various distance education methods, is dedicated to providing quality secondary instruction at a reasonable cost to those students who are seeking an alternative means of completing their high school education.

School History:

American School is one of the oldest and largest distance education institutions in the world. American School has called the Chicago area home for much of its 121-year existence but was founded in Boston in 1897 by R.T. Miller and a group of graduates and faculty members from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. By 1900, students had enrolled from all over the United States, and two years later, the Armour Institute (now the Illinois Institute of Technology) invited American School to move to Chicago to conduct a five-year educational experiment. During that time, American School added several more courses and eventually moved to a new location in the Hyde Park neighborhood near the University of Chicago. American School stayed in that location until 1996, when it moved to its current location in Lansing, Illinois, a far south suburb of Chicago.
In its history, American School has helped more than three million students earn their high school diplomas. Several students have become famous in entertainment, sports, the arts and the business world. They include actress Jessica Alba, tennis legend Andre Agassi, basketball player Wilson Chandler, singer Tiffany Evans, singers the Everly Brothers, baseball legend Bob Feller, tennis star Anna Kournikova, Rhodes Scholar Robert Morstein-Marx, entertainers Donny and Marie Osmond and the Osmond Brothers, author Christopher Paolini, motorsports star Travis Pastrana, tennis champion Mary Pierce, Pulitzer Prize winner Shulamit Ran, Grammy award-winning singer Selena, members of the Flying Wallenda circus family, artist Jamie Wyeth and many more.

Testimonials:

"I really liked taking this class at home. I felt like I had more help, even though I didn’t need it. I liked getting comments like 'Good job, Katie' on my exams. You don’t realize how much better you feel, like you did well at something you worked hard on. Thanks for everything!"
Katie from Illinois
"The study guides were excellent. If it wasn’t for them, I would not have done as well as I have. I am very grateful this service is available for students who need the extra credits. I appreciate the American School for being there for me!"
Brittany from Illinois
"All of the services given were very much appreciated. I really enjoyed these courses. They taught me things that will be very helpful in the future. My future careers are a Ph.D. in psychology and a J.D. in law."
Brett from Ohio
"Even though I had other things on the stove, I still had time to do my American School studies. There was no pressure to say this assignment was due the next day or something like that. It’s independent study, and the study guides let me know what to complete. I want to thank the instructors for their feedback. They helped me out, and when I had to take the final exam, I used the information they gave me on my corrected exams to help me do well on the final."
Jeffrey from Michigan
"I’m a night person, so I do better later in the day. I like that I can study and do my work at night. During the day I can hang out with my friends. I’m in charge of my own schedule and I love it!"
Sarah from California

Notes/School Information:

Is American School accredited?
Yes!  American School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS), Ai (Accreditation International) and the NCPSA (National Council for Private School Accreditation).  American School is also recognized as a non-public secondary school by the Illinois State Board of Education.  For more information, visit www.americanschoolofcorr.com/accreditation.

I graduated from American School or am currently a student.  Can you send me my transcript?
American School’s Student Service Department processes all transcript requests and is happy to be of assistance.  Students may also order paper or electronic transcripts through Parchment. 

I graduated from American School but lost my diploma.  Can you send me a replacement? 
We do not issue duplicate diplomas.  You may order a transcript using the steps described above.

How do I get a copy of American School's Student Handbook?
Click here to access a copy of our Student Handbook.

How old do I have to be to enroll?
There is no minimum or maximum age to enroll.  American School accepts students of all ages, provided they have completed eighth grade at the time of enrollment or have sent us a notarized letter at the time of enrollment stating they are ready to begin ninth grade work.

Will I get credit for the work that I have completed at another high school?
Yes, if you have attended an accredited high school.  Upon receipt of an official transcript from your previous school, you will be given credit for the courses you completed and passed, with the exception of religion, physical education, music, driver's education, and ROTC.  Please have a transcript sent from your previous high school directly to our Admissions department at 2200 East 170th Street, Lansing, IL  60438.

Does American School accept homeschooling credit?
If you have been home schooled or attended a non-accredited school, you may be eligible to establish up to 5 units of credit by successfully passing (with a grade of 75% or better) comprehensive examinations offered by American School. There is a non-refundable fee for each comprehensive examination, and you must be enrolled for at least 9 units of credit from American School to be eligible to take comprehensive examinations.  Please note that the American School does not provide review materials for comprehensive examinations.  We do not send comprehensive examinations to students who have already received American School materials for the subject(s), nor to students whose sibling(s) or family members have received American School materials for that subject.  Students enrolled in supervised or tutorial programs are not eligible to receive comprehensive examinations.  Contact our Principal's office for more information or if you wish to take these comprehensive examinations.

How does American School work?
For most paper-based courses, students are sent a textbook and study guide.  The textbook is often produced by one of the major textbook publishers.  Some of them are even custom-published exclusively for American School.  The study guide contains unit discussions, self-check tests and the unit examinations which the students will complete and mail to the School for grading.  For other print-based courses, students are sent a textbook and examination booklet.  In these courses, the textbook contains unit discussions and self-check tests, and the examination booklet contains the unit examinations which the students will complete and mail to American School for grading.  Students may start working the moment they receive their study materials in the mail, and they work entirely at their own pace throughout the duration of their program.  Please note that policies and procedures for our online courses are slightly different.  Refer to our Online Learning page for more information. 

How will I receive my materials for paper-based courses?
Students who live in the contiguous United States and are in the General High School or College Preparatory program will receive their first shipment of books via UPS (United Parcel Service).  All subsequent shipments of books will be sent library rate via USPS (United States Postal Service).  Students who live in the contiguous United States and are in the Independent Study program will receive all their books via UPS (United Parcel Service).  Students who live in Alaska or Hawaii or who have an APO address will receive all their books via USPS (United States Postal Service) regardless of their program, with the first shipment sent first class and all subsequent subjects sent library rate.  Finally, students who live in foreign countries will receive all their books via air mail regardless of their program.  Additional charges for air mail service apply and are included on special enrollment applications for students residing in foreign countries.

If I enrolled before November 1, 2013, how may I take an online course?
For students in our diploma programs who enrolled before November 1, 2013, full unit online courses cost an additional $190 each, and half units of online courses cost an additional $170 each.  If a student drops the course within 90 days of enrollment, the American School will retain a $50 withdrawal fee plus $5 for each completed module. 

If I enrolled after November 1, 2013, how may I take an online course?
Students who enrolled after November 1, 2013, may enroll in 2 (two) full or half unit online courses at no additional charge.  These courses must be part of your graduation requirements.  Additional full-unit online courses can be purchased for $190 each, and half units of online courses cost $170 each.  Online course withdrawal fees will not apply to these 2 courses.  This policy is effective January 1, 2015. 

What is American School's academic integrity policy (honor system)?
In pursuing your studies with American School, you are expected to follow the honor system.  Under the honor system, it is permissible to benefit from the exchange of ideas with other students, friends or family members and to use your textbook, study guide and other resources while you work on your courses and complete your exams, but any work on examinations is expected to be your own thoughts and ideas.  Your examinations must show what you have learned.  You may not represent someone else's work as your own.
If you do not adhere to the honor system, you should expect disciplinary action, which may include retaking an examination or dropping a subject for another.  Repeated violations may result in your dismissal from American School or an invalidation of any examination grades.
All materials printed by American School are copyrighted.  Supplying copies of questions and answers to other people is a violation of federal laws forbidding infringement of copyright and may be prosecuted thereunder.  Therefore, you may not provide answers on examinations to other people, whether they are students of American School or not.  

What is American School's grading scale?
For students in the General High School program and the College Preparatory program, our grading scale is:
A: 93-100
B: 85-92
C: 76-84
D: 65-75
Partial: Below 65
I: Incomplete

Who is considered a full-time student?
To achieve full-time enrollment status, a student must complete at least 4.5 Carnegie units of credit a year and have submitted work consistently during at least nine months of the year.  If achieved, American School will verify a student’s full-time enrollment status for federal and state programs, medical insurance, child support agencies, Social Security Administration, and/or any other program requiring such verification, if requested.  If a student has fallen below this standard, the student must submit work consistently for three consecutive months before American School will verify full-time enrollment status.  Please contact the School Counselor’s Office at (708) 418-2800 or guidance@americanschool.org if you have further questions regarding this matter.

What are the graduation requirements?
American School offers two high school diploma programs – the General High School program and the College Preparatory program.  In each program the student is required to complete 18 units of credit.  At least 4.5 credits must be completed with American School to receive our diploma.  In addition, students who reside in the state of Illinois must complete Consumer Economics and the United States/Illinois Constitution exam in accordance with state law.

How long do I have to complete my course(s)?
In general, students in either of our diploma programs have 4 years to complete their entire program. Students in our Independent Study program or who take individual courses for enrichment have 1 year from the date of enrollment to complete their paper-based courses, 6 months from the date of enrollment to complete a half-unit online course and 1 year from the date of enrollment to complete a full-unit online course.  Regardless of your program, you can work at your own pace and may be able to finish in less than the maximum completion time.

Can I go to college with an American School diploma?
Many American School graduates go on to college after completing our college preparatory course.  They are usually admitted – as are students from any high school – on the basis of their scores on tests such as the SAT or the ACT and their grades with American School.  Some states, such as New York, however, have public universities which will not accept students holding a distance education diploma, and these public universities will require such students to take the GED, TASC or another high school equivalency exam to gain admission.  We suggest that you review the admissions standards with the college of your choice prior to enrolling and contact our Guidance Department if you have questions or need further assistance.  Our school counselor will be happy to assist you.   If you are interested in attending an accredited online college or university, please visit www.accreditedonlinecolleges.org for a list of accredited online colleges and universities.

May credits earned for American School courses be used for NCAA initial eligibility to participate in college sports?
At this time, American School courses may not be used to meet the NCAA core course requirements for initial eligibility for Division I or Division II sports.  The NCAA decision was not based on the content of our courses but, rather, on issues involving interaction with students in "nontraditional" courses.  If you have further questions about NCAA eligibility, please contact our guidance department.

What is American School's position on the Common Core State Standards Initiative?
American School, a not for profit distance learning institution utilizing the home study method, is dedicated to providing quality secondary instruction at a reasonable cost to those students who are seeking an alternative means of completing their high school education.  We fulfill our mission, in part, informed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative, but we are not bound by those standards.  Common Core State Standards are simply learning goals and are not a curriculum. They do not dictate instructional methodologies or paper-based or online materials used within subjects.  Rather, Common Core State Standards establish clear and measurable goals for what students should know, understand and be able to accomplish at the end of a course or grade.  American School reaffirms its commitment to allowing students to study at their own pace and to utilize, as they see fit, the paper-based or online study materials given to them so that they may reach or exceed any goal that is placed before them.

After I enroll can I transfer from one high school program to another?
Students may make one transfer between high school programs at no additional charge unless they need to add additional units to meet the specific requirements of the program into which they are transferring.  That is, a student in the General High School program may transfer into the College Preparatory High School program or vice versa with no charge for making the transfer itself.  For any subsequent transfer between the two programs, there is a charge of $50 to help cover our administrative costs in changing a student’s program.

Can I take more subjects than I am required to take for graduation?
Students may add additional units to their program of study beyond what they are required to take for graduation at the prevailing rate for taking individual subjects with the School.  Please contact either the Admissions department or the Student Service department for additional information.

What if I just want to take individual subjects with American School?
If you do not wish to enroll in a high school program to receive a diploma from American School, you may enroll to take individual subjects for your own enrichment.  Please contact the Admissions department or the Student Service department at American School for a copy of the Enrollment Application for Individual Subjects for Enrichment or click here to download a copy of this special application. Students who plan to apply credits earned for individual subjects towards the graduation requirements at their local high school should enroll through their local high school in our Independent Study program.

Can I enroll in American School if I reside in a foreign country?
Yes, but because the U.S. Postal Service no longer provides Surface Mail for overseas deliveries, Air Mail service for delivery of course materials and graded examinations is required. There is a separate enrollment application for students who reside in a foreign country, and this application includes Air Mail service in the tuition costs.  The enrollment application for students who reside in the United States includes only Domestic Mail service in the tuition costs.

What is American School's cancellation or refund policy?
American School's cancellation or refund policy is clearly stated on your enrollment application.  For General High School or College Preparatory program students, it appears in the middle of the online or printable application in the section entitled American School's Liberal Tuition Settlement Policy.  For Independent Study program students, it appears at the top of the online application in the section entitled Other Useful Information and in the middle of page 5 of the printable application.