NorthStar Academy: Online School Reviewed by Valid Education
NorthStar Academy is an accredited online school that offers flexible academic programs. This Christian school was founded in the year 1998 as an alternative option for education for 40 missionary kids who lived overseas with their families.
Down the line in 2022, this school proudly completes 25 glorious years of online education. Presently, it is serving over 3000 students across 100 countries. The school not just offers online learning opportunities. But also supports students in improving their academic and spiritual readiness.
The school extends alternate educational opportunities for homeschooling families and co-ops, overseas families, and even for schools. Its partnership helps students in continuing their education irrespective of the limitations of their existing options.
Accreditation & Recognition
Since the year 2005, NorthStar Academy is an accredited institution. It is accredited by the globally recognized network, Cognia through the regional office of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Other than this, it also holds accreditation through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
The Academy also offers some NCAA approved courses. It is also a part of the Network of International Christian Schools (NICS).
Accreditation is important, as it assures students and parents that the academic credentials issued by the school are globally acknowledged and accepted by colleges, universities, and employers.
NorthStar Academy was the first Christian school (virtual) to receive accreditation.
Features and Offerings:
The Academy offers courses from grades 4 to 12.
Below are the course details:
|Virtual Program (VRP) Courses||Grades||Courses|
|Elementary||4 to 6||Bible, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Electives, Free Courses|
|Middle||7 to 8||Bible, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Electives, Free Courses|
|High||9 to 12||Bible, English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Advanced Placement, and Electives (College and Career, College Preparation, Computers and Electronics, Fine Arts, Languages, PE, and Health)|
The Academy also offers Enriched Virtual Courses for students in grades 8 to 12. They can enroll in these courses and attend 1 weekly live session and also seek the support of teachers throughout the week. This option makes the course more structured and firm for the students. As they need to meet the deadlines, and interact with teachers during live sessions in real-time.
NorthStar Academy Fee Structure
Here’s a quick look at the fee structure of the programs offered by NorthStar Academy:
|Duration\Type||Virtual Program||Enriched Virtual Program|
|Semester||Regular & Honors Courses||$420||Regular & Honors Courses||$470|
|AP Courses||$460||AP Courses||$510|
|Year-long||Regular & Honors Courses||$705||Regular & Honors Courses||$805|
|AP Courses||$735||AP Courses||$835|
An additional annual registration fee is also charged $125.
Dual credit evaluation fee is $50 (non-refundable) for each course (from accredited colleges and universities).
For the dual credit option (for each NorthStar course) there is an additional charge of $200 which is non-refundable.
Part Payment Options:
|Plan 1||Plan 2||Plan 3|
60% of the tuition fee plus to be paid at the time of registration in this plan. Rest of the payment by the ninth week of school. One- time processing fee is $50.
|Four Month Plan|
30% of the tuition fee plus. The remaining payment gets divided into four equal parts. Each part needs to be paid on the 1st day of the upcoming month (for 4 consecutive months). One-time processing fee is $90.
|Nine Month Plan|
30% of the tuition fee plus. The remaining payment gets divided into nine equal parts. Each part needs to be paid on the 1st day of the upcoming month (for 9 consecutive months). One-time processing fee is $135.
Late Fee Policy:
Late fee is $40 for all students who fail to make payment by the 10th of the month.
• Online Sessions and Academic Support
The Academy shares the following information about the live sessions/interactions with teachers:
Enriched Virtual Courses
Only the students who enroll in Enriched Virtual Courses have weekly live tuition sessions.
Enrolled students can miss upto 3 live sessions in a semester. But are expected to listen to the recordings of these sessions.
These classes are conducted with a minimum of 5 registered students through the ‘Zoom’ application.
Whenever a class is cancelled, the students are informed. And in this case, they are given an option to choose another class time.
In regular Virtual Programs, the students get the access to teacher support for their courses. Students can schedule one-to-one meetings with teachers to clarify their doubts.
• Special Discount on Fees
For the academic year 2022-23, NorthStar Academy offers a discount of $25 for each course for all students in the below categories:
> Supervisor working for a non-governmental organization or a non-profit ministry-related organization.
> Supervisors serving the US military.
> The ones who enroll two or more students in a course.
• College Preparation
For college preparation, NorthStar Academy offers two different types of dual credit courses. Students can either transfer college courses to NorthStar Academy. In addition, they can also earn college credits through Colorado Christian University (partners with NorthStar Academy).
Here’s some extra information about these options:
- The Academy only accepts dual credit courses from accredited colleges and universities. The student needs to take approval from an academic advisor.
- Students need to get the course evaluated.
- A dual credit evaluation form needs to be submitted at least two weeks before the student registers for the dual credit course.
- The weightage of dual credit courses can be a maximum of 25% of the total high school credits.
- 0.5 high school credits are counted for a 3 or 4 credit hour course (with an unweighted GPA). College courses that are less than 3 credits are rejected.
• Transition to College
In partnership with the Colorado Christian University, NorthStar Academy also offers dual credit courses on its platform.
More about these:
- By enrolling in any of these courses, students can earn college credit through CCU’s dual credit program.
- Students must opt for a dual credit-eligible NorthStar course with a teacher certified to teach dual credit.
- Post the course completion, Colorado Christian University grants the college credit. These courses can be transferred to many colleges and universities However, this acceptance depends on the policies of the respective college.
- All students who complete these courses can request a transcript directly from Colorado Christian University.
One of the best things about the NorthStar Academy is its realistic approach towards enrollment in online programs. The Academy proactively apprises the prospective students and parents about the vital elements of online learning (like a disciplined approach and digital literacy etc.). One important aspect that needs to be checked is the possibilities for students from non-Christian backgrounds. Besides, the students who need more support through virtual classes must re-think about this platform if they are looking to enroll in courses other than the ‘Enriched virtual courses’. If all this goes well with you consider enrolling in this one!
Connect with the school to know more about its online programs. Website: https://www.northstar-academy.org/