Blog Archive

Friday, March 23, 2012

Christopher Paolini Profiled in Rolling Stone

American School graduate Christopher Paolini was recently profiled in Rolling Stone magazine. The article takes a behind-the-scenes look at Chris's life and mentions a certain accredited-distance learning institution. Read the article by visiting

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For Counselors: How To Download Final Exams

It's nearing the end of the academic year and more and more counselors are needing final exams for their students. Since October 2010, the American School is no longer automatically sending final exams to schools. Instead, our final exams are available for counselors to download via our Online Counselor Office. Here are a few simple steps for counselors to follow while they attempt to download final exams for their students.

1. Go to our home page,, and click on the Student Center/Counselor Office link at the upper right of the page.

2. The next screen will have two links. Click the one for counselors or school officials. A new window may open.

3. The next screen is a gateway for the Online Counselor's Office. Click on the large blue School Login button at the bottom of the page.

4. The next screen will ask you for your school code and password. At this time, there is one code and one password per school. Enter the code and password in the appropriate boxes and hit the login button. If you do not have your school code and password, please call us at 708-418-2800 and ask to speak with Jeff or Paul and we will get you a school code and password as soon as possible.

5. Once you have logged in successfully you will see a series of links. Click on the very first one, which allows you to retrieve your students' academic records.

6. After clicking on the retrieve academic records link, you will see a list of all of your students who are taking courses with us. Click on the name of the student for whom you wish to print the final exam. That student's entire American School academic record will appear.

7. On the student's academic record page, any available final exam will appear in a blue link marked Final. Note that final exams are not available online until the first exam in the course has been graded. Click on the blue final exam link.

8. After you click on the blue final exam link, you will see an instructions screen. Click on the link on this instructions screen to proceed to the final exam itself. The final exam is in PDF format, so you will need Adobe Reader to view it.

9. Print the final exam, give the student the exam at a mutually convenient time.

10. Mail the exam to us for grading. There is no need to include a first page form with the final. Simply put the final exam in an envelope and mail it to 2200 East 170th Street, Lansing, IL 60438. We will do the rest. We hope this process makes final exam season smoother for you and your students!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Today's Anniversary: Uranus

It's March 13, and on this date in 1781, William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus, named after the ancient Greek god of the sky. Uranus is the third-largest of the eight planets, and its atmosphere consists primarily of hydrogen, helium and ices such as water, methane and ammonia. If you want to learn more about the structure of our own planet, consider taking our print or online Earth Science course. You can learn more about the print version by visiting and the online version by visiting For information on current online courses, visit We're confident that you'll find our course offerings to be out of this world even though the prices are hardly astronomical!

Monday, March 12, 2012

E-mail Addresses in the Online Student Center

Recently the Online Student Center received some upgrades, so now is a good time to remind you about the importance of having a working e-mail address on that site. It is the responsibility of the student or guarantor, not the American School, to add e-mail addresses to the Online Student Center. When you receive your code and password letter in the mail, follow the instructions in the letter and log into the site. On the main menu of the Online Student Center, you'll see a link that allows you to add or change your e-mail address and/or password. Click on the link and enter your e-mail address. Then scroll down and hit the save changes button and your e-mail will be saved in our system. You do not have to change your password when you add or change your e-mail address. When you give us your e-mail address, you'll receive grade notification e-mails (if the e-mail was added after logging in as a student) and have the ability to retrieve your password should you forget it. If you do not give us an e-mail address, you won't receive grade notification e-mails, and you won't be able to retrieve your password via e-mail. The only way we can send you your password in that case is through the regular mail. Because e-mails are used to retrieve passwords, e-mail addresses can only be used once. That means the same e-mail address cannot be used for the student and guarantor log-ins for a particular student, nor can the same e-mail address be used by guarantors of multiple students. Finally, we have taken steps to make our internal e-mail system more efficient. If you have given us an e-mail address but our e-mails bounce back to us when we try to send you notifications, your e-mail address may be removed from your Online Student Center account. Thank you for your cooperation and for allowing us to provide you with the most efficient service possible.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Testimonial Thursday

It's Thursday, and this week we hear from Daniel from Alabama, who writes, "I like the instructors’ comments. One time the exam was asking for complete sentences and I must have missed it or wasn’t paying attention. My instructor pointed out that I didn’t use complete sentences, so on my next exam I was more careful, all thanks to the instructor. The instructors are really good about showing where improvement is needed and where a good job was done." We thank Daniel for his gracious comments. Many times you've read in this blog that our instructors grade exams by hand, but Daniel's testimony gives some insight as to the depth of their feedback. They offer constructive criticism and kind encouragement so that all our students can do their very best on every exam going forward. It's that kind of personal attention that sets us apart from other distance learning high schools. If you'd like the same kind of personal attention as you work toward your diploma, visit to get started.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Today's Anniversary: The Telephone

It's March 7, and on this date in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was given patent #174465 for the device that came to be known as the telephone. Today's anniversary is a good opportunity to remind you the American School has two different telephone numbers. Our main number, 708-418-2800, is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday. Call this number, and you will speak directly to the department of your choice, such as Admissions, Billing, Instruction and Student Service. During non-business hours, and if you are a prospective student (NOT a current student), you can reach us toll-free at 866-260-7221 and your message will be given to the appropriate department the following business day. If you are a current student, we ask that you call us during normal business hours to get the most efficient service we can offer. Thank you for your cooperation, and we look forward to speaking with you soon.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Testimonial Thursday

It's Thursday. Time for another testimonial from one of our students. Olivia from Illinois writes, "I loved how all of the instructors wrote comments on every page and how they told me where to find the correct answers. The methods (including the self-check tests) worked very well. The instructions, study guides and even the textbooks were easy to read, understand and keep up with. Having a Web site that actually shows my grades right away is awesome too. Thanks so much." Olivia's words are true. We do have a Web site that shows students' grades right away. The Online Student Center gets updated every 15 minutes, and, better yet, when students provide us with an e-mail address after they first log into the site, we send them e-mail notifications of grades. That way, wherever they are, our students know their grades right away. We thank Olivia for her comments, and we look forward to hearing your comments, too, after you become an American School student.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Today's Special Occasion: Leap Day

It's February 29, which is something we only get to say once every four years. 2012 is a leap year because earth doesn't take exactly 365 days to revolve around the sun. Earth takes approximately 365 1/4 days to complete its orbit, so it's necessary every 4 years to add an extra day. Otherwise, over time, the calendar would get all screwed up. Without February 29 every 4 years, it might snow in August and be scorching hot in January. Take advantage of this extra day to do something special, maybe even take that first step toward your high school diploma. If you enroll today, you should have your diploma by the time the next Leap Day rolls around in 2016!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Testimonial Thursday

It's Thursday, and today's testimonial comes from Cora from Ohio. She writes, "The American School helped me realize how smart I actually am. It also showed me that I can accomplish things on my own in the best way that I understand them." We thank Cora for her kind words. Every so often we hear from individuals who, for one reason or another, haven't realized their true potential. We are proud that our program helped Cora realize how smart she really is, and we hope that she and all of our students remain confident in their abilities after receiving our diploma.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Today's Special Occasion: Mardi Gras

It's February 21, the day before Ash Wednesday, and people are celebrating Mardi Gras today. There are all sorts of ways to celebrate Fat Tuesday, but a popular way is to have paczki. Paczki are yeasty bismarck donuts stuffed with strawberry, raspberry, lemon, custard, or, your blogger's favorites, apricot and cheese. For more information on paczki, visit,0,5655689.story. They're so good, but there's a reason why people should only eat them one day a year. They're very fattening. Our Food Study course can help you learn other foods to avoid and help you discover health alternatives. Learn more about Food Study at, and by all means, if you are eating a paczki today, enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Testimonial Thursday

We've had some birthdays and special occasions lately, so we've taken a break from our normal Testimonial Thursdays until today. Tina from Miami writes, "I found the textbooks to be a great source and plan on saving them to help me in the future. The American School was easier for me because it is just me and the book, which helps me concentrate better. If I was in a classroom full of students, I would get distracted easily. Also, the teacher has to pay attention to all the students, which makes it harder for a teacher to help a student one-on-one." We are happy that Tina enjoyed studying with us, and we are glad that she is saving her textbooks for future reference. The textbooks and study guides we send you as part of your curriculum are yours to keep. You can refer to them throughout the course, even when you take your unit exams, but you should save them at least until you earn your American School diploma. You never know when you might need a valuable piece of information contained in an old textbook or study guide, so don't throw them away. Hold onto them and let them continue to teach you every step of the way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Today's Special Occasion: Valentine's Day

It's February 14, and the American School is celebrating Valentine's Day. We love our students and love seeing them succeed and earn their high school diploma. Fortunately for us, love is a two-way street, and our students love us back. They love the ability to work at their own pace. They love learning new things in any of our 70 courses. They love the personalized feedback they get when they received a graded exam back in the mail. They love the convenience of checking their grades and receiving help through our Online Student Center. We're confident that, if you haven't enrolled already, you'll love us too. Visit the enrollment pages on our Web site and make this a Valentine's Day to remember by taking the first step toward your high school diploma.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Today's Birthday: Mike Krzyzewski

It's February 13, and Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski turns 65 years old today. Earlier this season, he became the all-time winningest coach in Division 1 history, and currently he has 921 wins to his credit. He's also won 4 national championships and an Olympic gold medal, and this summer he'll again coach the Olympic team in London. Because Krzyzewski is a mouthful to say (it's pronounced Sha-shef-ski) and spell, you might know him better simply as Coach K, but most words cannot be abbreviated, and some words aren't spelled anything like they sound. That's why the American School's Spelling course benefits expert or novice spellers. View its description at After you enroll, you'll be a champion in spelling just like Coach K is in basketball.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Today's Special Occasion: National School Counseling Week

It's February 10, and we're wrapping up National School Counseling Week. The American School is fortunate to have good working relationships with school counselors across the country. We strengthen these relationships by making in-school visits and by attending state and national school counselor conventions. This year we plan to go to state conventions in Texas Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, and we are looking forward to attending the national convention this summer in Minneapolis. We're also proud to have a full-time counselor of our own to help our students with career advice and the college application process. One of the most common questions our counselor is asked is about ACT and SAT exams. If you call her department, she'll tell you the dates that the ACT and SAT will be given in your area. If you'd like ACT or SAT prep courses, visit and enroll in Method Test Prep's courses. Those courses, along with our outstanding counselor, will make sure you are well-prepared to take the ACT or SAT when the time comes.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Today's Birthday: Bethany Hamilton

It's February 8, and American School student Bethany Hamilton is celebrating a birthday today. Her inspirational story was made into the movie Soul Surfer, and to date, her Facebook page, which may be found at has more than 375,000 fans. Visit that page or her Web site,, to learn more about this inspirational American School student.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

American School Celebrates Digital Learning Day

Last year, the American School began offering online courses, and later this year we will unveil more of them. Last month, we also introduced online ACT and SAT prep courses through Method Test Prep, and we have had several students visit to sign up. Today, we are celebrating Digital Learning Day by encouraging our students to enroll in one of our online courses. You can learn more about Digital Learning Day and participate in live webcasts by visiting Keep reading this blog for details on official launch dates of our new online courses.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

American School Releases New Independent Study Handbook

The American School has published an updated version of its Independent Study Handbook on our Independent Study page. We invite students and school officials to download and read this document so that they can have full knowledge of our policies and procedures before our busy spring season. Thank you!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Today's Birthday: William Hunding

It's January 30, and American School President Emeritus and Trustee William Hunding is celebrating a birthday today. He was President of the American School from 1992-2006 and is one of only seven people to hold that office. R.T. Miller founded the American School in 1897 and served as President until his retirement in 1945. The six people who followed in R.T.'s footsteps as President all share R.T.'s belief that all students should have the opportunity to earn a high school diploma, whether they enroll in our General High School or College Preparatory program and earn our accredited diploma or take just one course through our Independent Study program and earn a diploma from their resident school. We are proud to have stability and longevity among our Presidents and, on his birthday, we wish Mr. Hunding many more years of good health and happiness.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Testimonial Thursday

It's Thursday, so it's time for a testimonial from one of our students. This one, from Sabrina of Indiana, just came in today. She writes, "I never really enjoyed homeschooling, but I've seen that I do much better in homeschooling and get much better grades, so I'm glad to say I'll be staying in homeschooling for the rest of high school! It's much easier for me to understand, and I even have colleges looking at me. I'm proud of where the American School has brought me, and I'm even graduating ahead of time thanks to the American School!" We thank Sabrina for her kind words. They are a reminder that even though homeschooling might be a leap of faith for you if you've never tried it before, the results can be far better than you ever imagined.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today's Birthday: Neil Diamond

It's January 24, and singer-songwriter Neil Diamond turns 71 years old today. As we often do when singers celebrate birthdays, we'll incorporate the titles of some of Neil's songs into today's blog. If you haven't visited this blog or our Web site in awhile, we invite you to say "Hello Again." You'll notice that we've added several new features, including several online courses toward your high school diploma, as well as non-credit ACT/SAT prep courses. If you are a "Kentucky Woman" or live anywhere else in America, you can take our courses and rest assured that they are fully accredited thanks to our accreditation by NCA-CASI/AdvancED. It doesn't have to be a "September Morn" for you to enroll since we accept enrollments year-round. Once you become our student, you might be a "Solitary Man" as you study independently, but you're never completely alone. Our instructors are available during business hours, and our Online Student Center contains help sheets and links to homework Web sites. We think you'll say, "I"m a Believer" in the American School after you complete our courses and earn your diploma from the leader in high school distance education in "America," so get started today!

Friday, January 20, 2012

American School Looks Ahead to Digital Learning Day

Digital Learning Day is February 1, and the American School is looking forward to participating. A year ago at this time, we were new to digital learning. Our online courses were just getting started. Now we have 7 online courses, and more will be on the way in 2012. Earlier this month we announced an affiliation with Method Test Prep, a leader in online ACT/SAT prep courses for more than a decade. We already have had several students enroll in Method Test Prep's courses, and you can do so too by going to For more information on Digital Learning Day itself, visit

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today's Birthday: Phil Everly

It's January 19, and singer Phil Everly turns 73 years old today. His brother, Don, turns 75 years old on February 1, but you don't know them on a first-name basis. You know them as the Everly Brothers. In the 1950s and 1960s, they had a string of #1 hits like "Bye Bye Love," "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do is Dream," "Bird Dog," and "Cathy's Clown," but their biggest achievement may have been earning their high school diplomas from the American School. We are proud to count them among our famous students and graduates. Vist our Community page to learn more about our notable alumni.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

American School Student Anna Tatishvili Competes in Australian Open

American School student Anna Tatishvili had a good showing in the Australian Open tennis tournament this week. She won her first round match 6-2, 7-6 over Ashleigh Barty of Australia before falling 6-1, 7-6 to #1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the second round. Her strong showing Down Under continues the tradition of American School students performing well in the event. 1988 graduate Andre Agassi won the event in 1995, 2000, 2001 and 2003, and we have high hopes for Anna as her career continues to blossom.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today's Birthday: John Hancock

It's January 12, and, according to an old style calendar, patriot John Hancock was born on this date in 1736. If you look at a copy of the Declaration of Independence, you'll see his signature larger than anything else written on the document. Legend has it that he signed it that big so that King George of England would have no problem seeing it. Since then, the very name "John Hancock" has been used as a synonym for anyone's signature. Two "John Hancocks" are important here at the American School. They are the signatures of our president and principal, who personally sign every high school diploma we award. It is one of the most rewarding parts of their jobs, and they and the entire American School staff enjoy helping students earn their diplomas. Get started today by downloading our enrollment application or by completing one online!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

American School Earns's 2012 Seal of Approval

The American School is the proud recipient of's 2012 Seal of Approval. We have earned this seal for several years running, and we are grateful to for giving us this award. To view our page on, visit

Monday, January 9, 2012

American School Continues Visits of Local Schools

Early in 2012, the American School is continuing to expand on a program we launched late last year. We are returning to our roots and making personal visits to local public and private high schools to meet with counselors and other school officials who might be interested in learning how our Independent Study program can help their students recover credits and graduate on time. We visited one such school last Friday and are making two similar visits today. So far, we have been greeted warmly by schools and counselors in Chicago and its suburbs. We look forward to visiting more schools and meeting more counselors in 2012. If you are a school official and would like to schedule a visit, please call our Independent Study department at 708-418-2850. Most visits last about a half hour, but the impact of our visit would be felt by your school and your students for years to come. We hope to meet you soon!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Today's Birthday: Lou Holtz

It's January 6, and football coach Lou Holtz, who is most famous for winning the 1988 national championship at Notre Dame, is 75 years old today. In addition to being one of the greatest college football coaches in history, he is also a successful television commentator and motivational speaker. Here is one of his inspirational quotes: "Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." On Coach Holtz's birthday, think about those three things–your ability, your motivation and your attitude–and how they relate to your pursuit of a high school diploma from the American School.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

American School Releases Updated Diploma Program Application

The American School has released an updated enrollment application for students wishing to enroll in the General High School or College Preparatory diploma programs. Blue is the predominant color on both the updated paper and online applications. We will continue to accept old paper applications, which have gold as their predominant color, for a limited time, but if you access the online application or request a paper application to be sent to you, you will be receiving the new version. Both the updated print and online applications are designed to be as user-friendly as possible, and we look forward to having you fill out a print or online application to become our student.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

American School Announces Affiliation With Method Test Prep

The American School is excited to announce, effective January 3, 2012, an affiliation with Method Test Prep, a company that has specialized in online ACT and SAT preparation for more than a decade. Under this arrangement, Method Test Prep will be responsible for all course content and billing, and their customer service team will answer any and all questions from those individuals who enroll in their courses through the American School’s Web site. Method Test Prep provides high-quality instruction and course content on a secure Web site that is easy to navigate. Students also will be able to work at their own pace while taking one or both of Method Test Prep’s courses, much like they do when they complete American School courses, but they will not earn high school credit. Although an entire ACT or SAT prep course is designed to be taken over a period of 20 weeks, Method Test Prep presents students with a simple checklist that is composed of 15-minute tasks, so students can study even if they have a limited amount of time. Students can expect a number of other things from Method Test Prep, including access to strategy guides for each test, complete full-length practice tests, hundreds of practice questions, practice quizzes to boost knowledge, immediate feedback on every question, audio and video explanations of test questions, easy-to-understand explanations to every question, tracking methods for strengths and weaknesses on each test, valuable test-taking tips, and access to courses on an unlimited 24/7 basis from any Web-enabled computer Method Test Prep offers a free two-week trial of their courses. If students wish to continue after that time, they pay on a monthly basis, either $39.95 per month for one course, or $59.95 per month for both courses. This pricing system ensures that you will receive high-quality test preparation for only the amount of time you need it. For more information on our new partnership with Method Test Prep, please visit We are confident this affiliation will be a great benefit to you!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Today's Birthday: The American School

It's December 17, and the American School is 114 years old today. From our humble beginnings in Boston, to our longtime home in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, to our present home in Lansing, Illinois, our mission has always been the same: to provide the best education we can. Thanks to all of you who have helped us reach our 114th birthday. We have big things planned for our 115th year, and we will announce them soon!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Testimonial Thursday

It's Thursday again, so we're proud to present another testimonial from one of our students. This week's might be the shortest ever. Anna from Illinois writes, "Thank you very much for this opportunity. I don’t know what I would have done without it!" We know that, for a variety of reasons, not all students have the opportunity or ability to complete high school in a traditional school. We are happy to provide a quality education to these students. That education will get even better in a couple weeks when we kick off 2012 with a special announcement. Keep reading this blog for more hints and details.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Speak Up and Complete This Online Survey

The American School is once again participating in the Speak Up Survey, sponsored by Project Tomorrow and several national educational technology organizations. The Speak Up data represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder input on education, technology, 21st century skills, schools of the future and science instruction. Education, business and policy leaders use the data gathered to help local, state and federal education programs. American School students and parents are encouraged to complete the online survey, located at Once there, choose "Illinois" from the drop-down list of states, and type "American S" into the School Name box. Choose American School from the list that appears. Students should select Grades 9-12, and both students and parents can enter our secret word, american, when they complete the survey. If you have not done so already, please take a moment to complete the survey by December 23. No personal information is collected during the survey, and the American School thanks you for your participation.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Articles Shed Light on Importance of Earning High School Diploma

Readers of the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this week found a brutally honest headline waiting for them on the editorial page: "If you drop out of school, prepare for miserable life". The editorial discussed the findings of a study commissioned by the Alternative Schools Network and led by a team of researchers at Northeastern University in Boston. The study found these alarming statistics. First, dropouts are less likely to have a job. Nearly half of dropouts in Chicago didn't work a single week in 2010. Second, lifetime earnings for dropouts are nearly a half million dollars less than those who have a high school diploma. Third, less than half of dropouts own a home, but more than 60% of graduates own their own homes. The Chicago Tribune's report on the study can be found here:,0,4708391.story. If you are on the fence about earning your high school diploma, please take a moment to read the article and do more research on our Web site. We are here to help you earn your high school diploma and not turn into a statistic.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Testimonial Thursday

It's Thursday, so it's time for another testimonial from one of our students. Today's comes from Joshua from Michigan, who writes, "Everything was satisfactory, and I enjoyed the encouraging feedback from my instructors. Because of those comments, I was more sure of myself and motivated to not only complete my courses but to succeed in future studies. The American School is a great program, and it is very helpful to those who adhere to the program. Thank you to all of my instructors for helping me to achieve my goals." We thank Joshua for his kind remarks, which are a reminder that we do more than just give students a textbook education. Indeed, we are proud of the quality of our curriculum, but we take special care to write constructive comments on students' exams so that they will be inspired to do even better in the future, and not just in American School courses, but in whatever field they have in mind after they earn our diploma.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Today's Anniversary: Pearl Harbor

It's December 7, a date that will live in infamy. Seventy years ago today, the USS Arizona battleship in Pearl Harbor was attacked, and the United States was thrust into World War 2. One of the more moving things you will ever experience is to visit the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii. Upon arriving at the visitors center, you can watch videos and look at exhibits commemorating the attack. Then you get in a ferry and set sail to the actual site where the USS Arizona was sunk. The white structure that you have seen on television is built over the sunken remains of the ship, and it's a solemn site and a burial ground for soliders killed in the attack. After you return from paying your respects, there's a chance a Pearl Harbor survivor will be at the visitors center to meet you and share personal experiences from that fateful day 70 years ago. To learn more about events surrounding Pearl Harbor's 70th anniversary, visit, and to learn more about the USS Arizona Memorial and other related sites, visit and

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Today's Special Occasions: Saint Nicholas Day/Cool School

It's December 6, and children all over the world (and maybe some adults too) woke up this morning to find coins, candy or other gifts in their shoes to celebrate Saint Nicholas Day. The American School recently got a nice gift when The Mash, a weekly newspaper and Web site written by and for Chicagoland teenagers, recognized us as a Cool School. We are thankful for the recognition, especially since it comes from our students, and invite you to read all about it right here: 
Friday, December 2, 2011

American School Announces Online Payment System

Students, parents and school officials have loved our online enrollment applications ever since they were added to our Web site, but we didn't want our current students be excluded from the ease and security of making online transactions. That's why we are pleased to announce that current students can make monthly payments with their credit card or PayPal directly from our Web site. Go to our home page, scroll halfway down, and look for the Make a Payment button, or add to your favorites. Your transactions will be 100% secure, and we are confident you will enjoy using this new feature.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Today's Special Occasion: World AIDS Day

It's December 1, and today's blog recognizes World AIDS Day. It was on this date in 1981 that the AIDS virus was officially recognized, and seven years later, the first World AIDS Day was held. Modern medicine, especially in the United States and other developed countries, has greatly extended the life expectancy and life quality of those infected with HIV/AIDS, but such medical care, treatment and technology, isn't as available in Africa, where the disease is still prevalent. Our Physiology and Health course contains a section on HIV/AIDS awareness, but if you want to learn even more, you can visit for more information.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today's Birthday: Mark Twain

It's November 30, and Mark Twain was born on this date in 1835. He was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens and lived much of his life in Hannibal, Missouri, where today you can visit his boyhood home and a museum containing many artifacts associated with him. Here's another interesting fact about Twain: Halley's Comet, which only comes around once every 75 years, appeared in the sky on the day he was born AND the day he died, which was April 21, 1910. The odds against that happening must have been astronomical, no pun intended. Twain's most famous books are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but you can read another of his classics if you enroll in our half-unit English 3: Selected American Classics course. The course contains Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Willa Cather’s My Ántonia; poetry by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Langston Hughes and others; and short stories by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, O. Henry, Stephen Crane, Washington Irving, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ambrose Bierce, Henry James, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe and Philip K. Dick among others. Emphasis is on reading for enjoyment and understanding through an analysis of the structure and themes of each work. In addition, the study guides for these works stress the development of specific writing skills, including writing synopses and descriptive sentences. In completing this course, among other activities, students prepare a synopsis, paraphrase passages, identify techniques used in descriptive passages, identify the rhyme and rhythm schemes of poems, and write a critical essay. What better way to celebrate Twain's 176th birthday than to read one of his novels and earn high school credit in the process!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Testimonial Tuesday

It's November 29, and we're making up for being off last Thursday by offering a testimonial today instead. Bethuel from Michigan "really loves the American School because I don't need to worry about how early or late I can finish with the exams. The study guides were really helpful, and the instructors' comments helped a lot too." Bethuel's comments touch on two things American School students love, namely the ability to work at their own pace and the handwritten, personalized comments our instructors write on every page of every exam. You can benefit from both of those things, in addition to our outstanding curriculum, if you enroll today!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Today's Special Occasion: Cyber Monday

It's November 28, the first Monday after Thanksgiving. In recent years, the first Monday of Thanksgiving has been known as Cyber Monday because many retailers, coming off the strong in-store sales of Black Friday a couple days ago, offer special deals to their online customers. The American School blog is celebrating Cyber Monday by highlighting some of the things our students, parents and school officials can do on our Web site (besides reading this blog every day, of course). Earlier this year we began offering online courses, and we are expanding our online course offerings all the time. You can enroll in either of our diploma programs or in our Independent Study program by using the appropriate online enrollment application. Finally, once you are enrolled, you can check your grades and academic progress by using our Online Student Center. We hope that these portions of our Web site will be of great use to you as you work toward your high school diploma.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today's Birthday: Christopher Paolini

It's November 17, and one of our most famous graduates celebrates a birthday today. Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr, turns 28 years old today, and he got a nice early birthday present when his latest book, Inheritance, sold more than 500,000 on the day of its release last week. We are proud to count Christopher among our graduates and wish him a successful year ahead.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Today's Special Occasion: Coach K's 903rd Win

It's November 16, and last night Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski became the all-time Division 1 wins leader when the Blue Devils beat Michigan State, 74-69. The victory was the 903rd in Coach K's career, but he only had 73 when he was hired at Duke in 1980. At his introductory press conference 31 years ago, Coach K spelled his last name for those reporters who were not famliar with him. Imagine those reporters' surprise when he told them his name is pronounced Sha-shef-ski, which is nothing like his name is spelled. Coach K's last name isn't the only word in the English language whose pronunciation is much different than its spelling. In fact, there are more words like this than you realize, and our Spelling course can give you hints for spelling these tricky words successfully. You'll also learn about root words, rules for forming the plurals of words and much more. You'll be a big winner too if you enroll in this course and work toward your diploma with the American School, so get started today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today's Special Occasion: Geography Awareness Week

It's November 15, and we're in the middle of Geography Awareness Week, an initiative of the National Geographic Society. The American School offers Geography in both print and online forms, but this week is a great opportunity to do something special and enhance your work in those courses. You can complete virtual geographic missions by visiting There, you'll learn more about Geography Awareness Week and have access to a slew of interesting activities that will make your American School Geography course come to life in a whole new way.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Testimonial Thursday

It's Thursday, so it's time for another testimonial from one of our students. Paul is "very grateful for the chance I had to study via correspondence as it has given me the chance to learn a broader range of subjects I would not have been able to study otherwise. The fact that I had to study by myself instead of at school taught me some very important lessons of self-motivation, as well as a love to learn without being forced." Paul wrote those words to us from his home in Luxembourg. He is a perfect example of an international student who found academic success with us and a great reminder that, even though we have American in our name, we serve students all over the world.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

American School Celebrates National Distance Learning Week

It's November 9, and we're right smack dab in the middle of National Distance Learning Week. The American School has been a leader in distance education for more than a century, but over the years the ways in which we have provided distance education have changed. For the first 113 years of our history, we offered only correspondence courses. Earlier this year, though, we launched our first online courses. As we move closer toward 2012, we are working harder than ever to offer more courses online. You should see the fruits of our labors sometime in early 2012. NDLW is an event organized by the United States Distance Learning Association, of which the American School is a proud member. Visit for more information about this special week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christopher Paolini's Latest Book On Sale Today

American School graduate Christopher Paolini's latest book, Inheritance, is now on sale. His first three books, Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr, were huge hits and designed to be a trilogy, but Christopher discovered he had more tales to tell and wrote Inheritance, which completes the cycle. After you finish reading this blog, visit our Facebook page,, which has links to Christopher's official Facebook page and to a bookstore Web site where you can order his books and watch videos of Christopher discussing his life and the process he goes through to write his best-sellers. We congratulate Christopher for his success and are proud to count him among our graduates.

Friday, October 28, 2011

American School Announces November Convention Schedule

The American School will be on the road quite a bit during the month of November, attending four state school counselor conventions, including one in Alaska. The odyssey begins next week in Ohio when we attend the All-Ohio Counselors Conference in Columbus from November 3-4. A couple days later we will be in Kalamazoo on November 6-7 for the Michigan School Counselor Association Fall Conference. Then on November 10-11 we will travel to Indianapolis for the Indiana School Counseling Association Fall Conference. Finally we'll head up north–way north–and attend the Alaska School Counselor Conference from November 16-18. We look forward to meeting counselors at each of these events and look forward to meeting even more people at conventions in 2012.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Testimonial Thursday

It's Thursday, and you know what that means: another testimonial from one of our students. Today's comes from Tayler in Michigan, who writes, "The American School was so helpful. It’s better than sitting in a class. I understood everything, and I’m glad I took U.S. History because now my knowledge has increased and I’m very successful. Forcing myself to study on my own made me more responsible and eager to complete the tasks. It was an all-around learning experience. The American School is the way to go!" We are grateful for Tayler's remarks and are pleased to provide students like Tayler the ability to complete innovative courses at their own pace in the comfort of their own home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

American School Holds 114th Annual Meeting

The American School held its 114th Annual Meeting of trustees and corporate members earlier today. The meeting is a great opportunity to look back at the accomplishments of the past year and set goals for the weeks and months ahead. This year, there were many accomplishments to report. Some of them, such as improvements to our facility and upgrades to our internal computer system, aren't seen by those who do not work here, but they are important because they allow us to provide better service to our students. Other changes are more visible. These include the seven online courses that debuted in 2011, and that number will expand in early 2012 with the debut of additional online courses. Those who attended the meeting were proud of what the American School accomplished in the past year but are more determined than ever to make 2012 and the years to come even better. We hope to have pictures from the annual meeting posted on the community page of this site, and you can read more about the meeting in a future edition of the All American newsletter.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Testimonial Thursday

It's Thursday, so it's time for another testimonial from a satisfied student. "The Drawing Animals course taught me more about drawing than I could imagine," said Michelle from Texas. "I’ve never enjoyed drawing, but the course gave me new confidence to keep practicing, and little by little my drawing has improved." Students like Michelle now have the ability to receive more help in draawing courses than ever before thanks to new videos that have been uploaded to the Online Student Center. Even if you're not taking an art course, stop by and view more than 500 career videos or download booklets that will be helpful to you as you begin thinking about college and the financial aid process. We are happy to provide the Online Student Center for our students and happy to hear that students like Michelle enjoy our courses.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

American School Student Has Olympic Dreams

The 2014 Winter Olympics will be here before we know it, and former American School student Alex Shibutani and his sister Maia have plans to make the U.S. ice dancing team and skate in Sochi, Russia. Read about their story at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Today's Special Occasion: Alaska Day

It's October 18, and today is Alaska Day, which is the day Alaskans celebrate the official transfer of the territoy of Alaska from Russia to the United States in 1867. The American School has had a long affiliation with the Last Frontier. Many students who live in remote parts of the state use our General High School or College Preparatory program to help them graduate, and many schools in the state use our Independent Study program to help their students make up credits and graduate on time. We are excited meet some of them at the Alaska School Counselor Conference next month. Keep reading this blog to find out where else we will be in November.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Today's Special Occasion: Boss's Day

It's October 17, and the American School is in the midst of observing Boss's Day. Each year Boss's Day is celebrated on October 16. Since that date fell on a Sunday this year, some departments chose to honor their bosses on Friday, while others are doing so today. This occasion is the perfect opportunity to take a look at the career of the American School's founder and first boss, R.T. Miller. He was an educational pioneer of his day and wanted to make vocational and technical training more available for more Americans by offering correspondence courses. His idea was a huge success, and, within the first couple years of our existence, thousands of wage-earners signed up to receive additional training. The Armour Institute of Technology heard about the American School's success and invited us to place our headquarters in Chicago for 5 years. That 5 years has turned into 109 years, since we have been based in Chicagoland since 1902. Two years after the move to Chicago, the American School exhibited at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, and in 1907, the American School moved into what would be its home for nearly 90 years, a building that still stands on the University of Chicago campus. In 1922, under Miller's leadership, the American School began its Independent Study program which continues to serve thousands of schools around the country even unto today. Later in his tenure, the American School was one of the founding members of the National Home Study Council, and in 1945, after nearly a half-century of service, R.T. Miller retired. Thanks to his vision, the American School is one of the most respected home-study insitutions with a global student body. His successors as American School President, including most recently Gary R. Masterton, continue to be inspired by our founder and work hard to ensure R.T. Miller's legacy continues for many years to come.

Friday, October 14, 2011

American School Expands Video Presence In Online Student Center

A week ago this blog announced the addition of the first video help sheet to the Online Student Center. Yesterday we added 500 more videos to the site. The career videos provide a brief visual introduction to the world of work and are especially useful for students in our Planning Your Career course. These videos have been made available courtest of the New Jersey Center for Occupational Employment Information (COEI) and were developed and distributed by them through a grant from America's Labor Market Information System (ALMIS), a program of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Log into the Online Student Center with your code and password, look for the video camera symbol, and check out the career of your choice!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today's Birthday: Marie Osmond

It's October 13, and Marie Osmond turns 52 years old today. Marie was one of several members of the Osmond family to atttend the American School, and we are proud to count them among our famous students. Even though we have had many famous students in our 114-year history, we treat every student in exactly the same way, whether he or she is famous or not. The personal attention we give students is one of the things they most enjoy about studying with us, and we're confident you will enjoy that kind of personal care and service as well after you submit your online or paper enrollment application.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today's Anniversary: The Day That Didn't Exist

It's October 12, and on this date in 1582 in Italy, Portugal, Poland and Spain, absolutely nothing happened. That's because October 12, 1582 never existed in those countries. They were in the midst of transitioning from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar we currently use, and in the transition, some dates were lost. One advantage of making the American School your high school is that there are no lost days. That's because you work entirely at your own pace. If that means that you want to devote a whole day to your job or other obligations and work on your courses another day, you can. If you want to devote a whole day to your American School work, you can do that. If you want to split your day between work and school, you can do that too. The choice is entirely yours. Don't let today go by without making a decision that will benefit you for all your days. Become an American School student now!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

American School Staff Members Win Trivia Competition, Help Community

Six American School staff members won a trivia competition at a local high school last Saturday night, but the real winners were people in the community. The event helped fund emergency services such as shelter, food, clothing, emergency financial assistance, referral, benefits screening and short-term case management for residents of Chicago's south suburbs. While we certainly are proud of our staff members for winning the competition, we are even more proud of them for helping us make a positive difference in our community.

Friday, October 7, 2011

American School Posts First Video Course Help Sheet

Since 2007, thousands of students have visited our Online Student Center to check their grades and download course help sheets, but, until now, all of those help sheets were PDF documents. Thanks to our Curriculum department, the American School is pleased to offer our first video help sheet. The video help sheet, which is indicated by the small green icon of a film camera, will benefit students in any of our three drawing courses, but specifically will help students who are completing Exam 1 in Drawing Landscapes. The demonstrations in the video cover these skills: doing a rough sketch, warm-up exercises, enlarging to use the whole paper, how to use different line styles (gesture, scribbling, groping, and contour), deciding when to hard and soft lead pencils, and using line styles to capture a sense of movement in a drawing. We hope to produce more video help sheets in the future, but, for now, enjoy this one, and also check out two new PDF help sheets for drawing courses on the techniques of line styles and basic shapes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Testimonial Thursday

It's another Testimonial Thursday, and today's testimonial is from Samuel in New Mexico, who writes, "The American School’s study guides were one of the most practical tools I have ever used. I used it faithfully when I had to study for an examination. I also looked forward to my instructor’s comments and feedback on my exams. I was especially pleased when he or she praised me and wrote something encouraging about my essays." We thank Samuel for his kind words. He makes two great points. First, the vast majority of our courses come with a study guide. The only ones that don't are courses we create and write ourselves, but if a course uses a textbook written by one of the major textbook publishing companies, our Curriculum department creates a study guide containing discussions, self-check tests and unit exams. American School students who take full advantage of the study guides and use them wisely tend to do better on the unit exams than students who don't do the self-check tests. Second, Samuel points out that our instructors write comments by hand on students' exams. This has been our hallmark for many years and is one of the many ways we try to make distance education as personal as possible. See for yourself by enrolling today!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Today's Anniversary: PBS

It's October 5, and on this date in 1970, PBS was launched. Most of us grew up with shows like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Sesame Street, and certainly children's shows are a big part of the mission and programming of PBS, but let's look at some of the other types of programming available on your local PBS station. You can watch fine arts shows like Great Performances or Masterpiece Theater. You can watch science shows like Nova. You can watch home improvement shows like This Old House. You can keep on top of public affairs by watching the NewsHour or Frontline. You can even watch old reruns of The Lawrence Welk Show! PBS is a great resource to supplement your American School courses, so keep them in mind as you work toward your high school diploma with us.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Today's Birthday: Rutherford B. Hayes

It's October 4, and Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President of the United States, was born on this date in 1822. Hayes was a two-time governor of Ohio when he won the Repbulican nomination in 1876. He faced Samuel Tilden in the general election, and even though the Democrat won more popular votes, Hayes received more electoral votes and therefore won the White House. Hayes' one-term presidency is best known for his work in civil service reform, and you can learn more about him by visiting his home, Spiegel Grove, which is located in Fremont, Ohio, right between Toledo and Cleveland. While you're in Fremont, you can also visit his library, which is one of the first presidential libraries ever constructed. Presidential homes and libraries are located all around the country, usually in the president's home state or on the campus of the university where the president attended college, so no matter where you are, it's likely a presidential home or library is close by. Take advantage of them and visit them if you are able. You will get a first-hand look at history and learn more about the people who've led our country and their lives in and out of the White House.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New All American Newsletter Coming Soon

The American School will release a new All American newsletter in the next couple weeks, but we want your input on how we can make future newsletters even better. What types of stories–student profiles, instructor profiles, school news, etc.–would you like to see included? How often would you like to see the newsletter published? Send an email to or post on and let us know what you think. We'll take your ideas into consideration so that we can make the All American the best newsletter it can be.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

American School Releases New Independent Study Information

The American School has released a new Independent Study brochure and a new Independent Study enrollment application. These documents can be downloaded or accessed from the Independent Study portion of our Web site, or, if you are a school counselor and would like us to mail you and your school a supply, please contact our Independent Study Coordinator at, and your request will be processed shortly.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Testimonial Thursday

Today the American School Blog is introducing a new feature. Occasionally on Tuesdays and Thursdays we'll be posting a testimonials from one of the many students, parents or school officials who have used our courses to help them or their students earn their high school diplomas. Today's testimonial comes from Eleanor from Texas, who writes, "The American School is in the process of upgrading its math and science textbooks, and the resulting new texts are amazing. The Algebra 1 and the Geometry are well organized, attractive, and thorough. The Biology and Earth Science courses are of a level used by our community college as well as attractive and in much more depth and detail than previous texts. The courses for the College Prep program now provide enough depth in each subject to prepare our students for any SAT/CLEP testing as well as college level work." We are pleased that Eleanor and her students enjoy our new course materials, and we're confident you will as well. Read our course descriptions to learn more about our 70 courses, and if you are ready to enroll, you can do that today, either by printing an application and mailing it to us or by filling out our interactive online application.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today's Birthday: Confucius

It's September 28, and Chinese philosopher Confucius was born on this date in 551 B.C. In honor of his birthday, here is a list of some of the most famous quotes attributed to him and found in his Analects. Read them and reflect upon how you might incorporate some or all of them into your life. 1. "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." 2. "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance." 3. "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." 4. "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." 5. "The Superior Man is aware of Righteousness, the inferior man is aware of advantage." 6. "Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart." 7. "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do." 8. "He who learns but does not think, is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger." 9. "He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools." 10. "If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Today's Birthday: Google

It's September 27, and Google is celebrating its 13th birthday today. Where would we be without search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing? They help us navigate the Internet and find exactly what we're looking for. Perhaps you used one of them to find If so, thank you. We're happy you've found us and we hope that you find useful information on every page of our site.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Christopher Paolini's Latest Book On Sale November 8

A couple years ago, author and American School graduate Christopher Paolini visited the American School and signed Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr, which at the time was a complete trilogy. Now that he's written Inheritance, we're going to have to invite him back to sign a copy of his fourth book after it goes on sale November 8. Look for it wherever you buy books!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today's Anniversary: The Price is Right

It's September 19, and today The Price is Right begins its 40th season on the air, which no doubt makes one American School employee very happy, especially if Cliff Hangers is on today's show. American School students and parents tell us all the time that our price is right for them, and it's true. You won't find a better value for an accredited high school diploma through distance education. Think about this: our 18-unit diploma program costs just $1399 until October 1. That's less than $80 per course, and tuition includes all study materials, grading of exams and access to the Online Student Center. We also have a variety of payment plans available so that you can pay for your high school education at a rate that is comfortable for you. Take a look around the rest of our Web site and learn what program is best for you. Then "come on down" and become our student by printing an application or enrolling online. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today's Anniversary: The American School Blogger

It's September 15, and on this date in 1998, I began my career at the American School. Back then, the American School didn't have the type of Web presence we have today. We didn't offer online courses, you couldn't check your grades in the Online Student Center, you couldn't enroll online, and we didn't have a blog. So what did I do until this blog began in 2006? I started out grading a variety of English courses but later branched out to grade social studies courses too. Back then the size of the exams were smaller than they are now, and students and instructors had to fill out first page forms. Today, exams are standard size, and first page forms have been replaced by bar codes which allow us to better track your exam as it goes through the grading process. Near the end of my first year here, I was asked to do some work in the Curriculum department, and I liked writing study guides and exams so much that I remained there for the better part of the next decade while continuing to grade exams as well. When I first started in Curriculum, the staff was very small in number–just our curriculum director and two full-time assistants–but today the Curriculum department is larger than ever, in part because there is a greater need to update our print and online courses more rapidly than a decade ago, but moreso to take advantage of the vast expertise of our full-time and part-time Curriculum staff. Some are experts in science, some are experts in English, some are experts in design, and some are good at a little bit of everything. That combination has served our students well and will continue to do so in the future. About halfway through my time here, we began to expand our Internet presence, so I gave up grading exams to focus on computer projects alongside my Curriculum responsiblities. A couple years ago I bid farewell to full-time work in the Curriculum department and now devote most of my day to Internet, marketing and public relations endeavors, including planning and attending conventions across the country. Working at the American School has given me the opportunity to see places I wouldn't normally visit, help students I will most likely never meet in person, and work with people who have had a great impact on my life. For all of those reasons and many more, I'm very grateful to have worked here the past 13 years, and I look forward to see what Year 14 has in store.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

American School To Attend Two Conferences

The American School is going on the road and attending conferences in Champaign, Illinois and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. First is the Illinois AdvancED Conference later this week. We are accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, and that organization is an accreditation division of AdvancED. Early next week we'll be meeting counselors from the state of Louisiana at their annual conference. We look forward to talking with them about how our new online courses and Independent Study program can benefit them and their students.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bob Feller To Receive Lone Sailor Award

Former American School student Bob Feller posthumously will receive the United States Navy Memorial's Lone Sailor Award at a September 22 banquet. According to the Navy Memorial's Web site (, "The Lone Sailor Award is given to Sea Service veterans who have excelled with distinction in their respective civilian careers while exemplifying the Navy core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. The 2011 award recipients will join an impressive list of men and women who have distinguished themselves by drawing upon their military experience to become successful in their subsequent careers and lives, while exemplifying the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment." Other 2011 recipients include actors Lloyd, Beau and Jeff Bridges, C-SPAN founder and CEO Brian Lamb and former baseball player and current broadcaster Jerry Coleman. Past recipients include former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Attend School in Chicagoland? Have the American School Visit Your School!

This blog is the flip side of yesterday's, when we invited students and their families to tour the American School when they're in Chicagoland. This time, we're inviting ourselves to local high schools to meet with counselors and other school officials. With the new school year underway, and with the American School now having a new Web site and a new array of online courses, this is the perfect time for us to meet in person with people who use our Independent Study program. If you're a student or counselor at a Chicagoland high school, send an email to if you're interested in us coming out to your school. We'd love to meet you and show you how the American School can benefit your school.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Near Chicago? Visit the American School!

Last Friday the American School welcomed one of our students and her parents to our offices and gave them a tour of the building. It's a rare treat for us to see students and parents in person, especially those who live in Alabama, but they were traveling to Chicagoland for a special event and decided to visit us, and we are glad they did. Whether you live near our headquarters in Lansing, Illinois, a far south suburb of Chicago, or just happen to be passing through town, the American School invites you to visit our office and see our school. Students and parents are always surprised when they visit us and see how the entire operation works, and we're confident that you, like our guests from Alabama, will have an educational and enjoyable visit.

Monday, August 29, 2011

U.S. Open Tennis Underway in New York

The U.S. Open is underway in New York, and American School students and graduates have had great success in this event. Andre Agassi won the tournament in 1994 and 1999, and Mary Pierce was runner-up in 2005. Hoping to continue the tradition this year is Anna Tatishvili, who reached the second round at Wimbledon this summer and is hoping for even better results this time around. She opens play tomorrow against 17th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyucehnkova, and we are excited to track her progress throughout the tournament.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

American School Renews Accreditation With Better Business Bureau

The American School recently renewed its accreditation with the Better Business Bureau–Chicago and Northern Illinois Chapter. This marks our 77th consecutive year of BBB accreditation. We are proud to be in a long-standing relationship with the Better Business Bureau and work hard to ensure that our students and their parents, as well as the school officials with whom we work, are completely satisfied with our services.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Online Student Center/Counselor Office Updates

We're in the process of making a few updates to our Online Student Center and Online Counselor Office. For starters, you might have noticed that you can access either site by clicking the "Student Center/Counselor Office" link at the top right of our home page. Students and counselors now have access to a new homework Web site, and we've made some other improvements that we hope will make the site easier to use for counselors. If you have any suggestions for making the Online Student Center, Online Counselor Office, or our Web site in general better, email them to or post your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Monday, August 22, 2011

American School Attends ICP World Convention in Toronto

If you're a regular blog reader, then you know that the American School goes to several education conventions a year. Many of these conventions are for homeschoolers, some are for school counselors, and a select few are for principals or other school administrators. Even though the conventions are for different groups of people, all of them have been held in the United States–until last week. The American School attended the International Confederation of Principals World Convention in Toronto. The event drew principals from as far away as Nigeria and Kenya, and the United Nations of people who stopped by our booth were impressed to learn that our diploma is accepted worldwide. We have two conventions in September, and both are back in the United States. Keep reading this blog to learn the specific dates and locations!

Friday, August 19, 2011

American School Nominated for BBB Torch Award

The American School has been nominated for the Better Business Bureau Torch Award, which recognizes excellence in business ethics and integrity. We are grateful for the nomination and are proud to have a long-standing relationship with the BBB.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

American School Attends Homeschool Day at Six Flags Great America

For the fourth consecutive year, the American School participated in Homeschool Day at Six Flags Great America located between Chicago and Milwaukee. We were excited to see the park full of people, including several who took time away from going on rollercoasters and flumes to visit our table instead. We hope to attend Homeschool Day in 2012, but we have a busy convention schedule between now and then. Keep reading this blog to find out where we'll be next!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

College Plans of American School Scholarship Winners

One of the questions we're most often asked is if colleges and universities accept our diploma. Thanks to our accreditation, the answer to that question is a resounding yes, but sometimes people go a step further and ask what specific schools have accepted our students. What better way to answer that question than to list the schools our scholarship winners plan to attend. Though is is just a small sample of the colleges and universities that have accepted our students, you'll agree that the following list is both impressive and diverse. The schools are Rutgers, Excelsior College, BYU, Washington University in St. Louis, Arizona State, Liberty, East Central College, Montana State, Georgia Highlands College, Adams State College, Oklahoma, Spokane Community College, Pikes Peak Community College, Linn-Benton Community College, Idaho State, Kansas and New Mexico State. Be sure to read upcoming issues of the All-American newsletter to learn more about these students and their future plans.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

American School Attends Social Media Conference

Today the American School attended a conference on social media. The presenters taught us new ways to use Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites and were impressed that we blog once a day. Now that the conference is over, we plan to put what we learned into practice, so look for some different things on our Facebook page and on our Twitter feed in the near future!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Today's Anniversary: MTV

It's August 1, and on this date in 1981, MTV debuted as a cable television network. People who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s know that, at its beginning, MTV really was music television, as its name implies. The channel showed music videos, had weekly top 20 video countdowns and aired interviews with musicians. At some point, though, the station evolved into showing more game shows and reality shows, one of which is True Life. That show once featured an American School student discussing his experiences with homeschooling. We were grateful for this national exposure and look forward to enrolling more students who will find us to be music to their ears!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Travis Pastrana's Big Weekend Thrown Off Track

Of the more than three million students who have gotten their high school diplomas with the help of the American School, few have been in the news these days more often than Travis Pastrana. The extreme sports star is branching out into more mainstream Nascar this year, and this weekend those two worlds were going to intersect. He planned to compete in the X Games in Los Angeles, then fly to Indianapolis to compete in a Nascar event and then fly back to LA for more X Games events. Instead, he sufffered a broken foot and broken ankle in his first X Games event and is out for the weekend. We wish Travis a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him in action again soon.

Friday, July 8, 2011

What's New on Our New Web Site

Our new Web site continues to get positive reviews, but in case you haven't had a chance to explore it in great detail yet, here's some of the new features that are now available. The Online Courses tab gives you descriptions of our seven online courses. We're adding more online courses all the time, but be sure to visit this page right now and see if any of them interest you. The Contact Us page also has changed. If you're a prospective student, there is a space for you to ask us a specific question before submitting your information. While current students also can use this form, we ask that you call us at 708-418-2800 for faster service. The American School Community page is brand new. For now, that's where you'll find bios of some of our famous students and graduates, but we plan on posting a variety of news items on that page, so check it often. Finally, you might notice a "Live Chat" button on our home page. These chats will be information sessions for prospective students. Dates and times will be announced soon. If you have feedback on our new Web site, we'd love to hear it. Comment on our Facebook page,, or email us at

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Welcome to the New American School Web Site!

Yesterday afternoon we launched our new Web site. We hope you'll find it informative and easy to navigate. Please be aware that there may be some bugs during the first few days and weeks of our new site. Our technical department is working diligently to identify these bugs and fix them as quickly as possible so that everyone can enjoy a better Web experience. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

American School Holds 73rd Annual Scholarship Meeting

Yesterday the American School held its 73rd annual scholarship meeting. The scholarship committee had a very difficult time selecting 18 winners from a group of more than 100 very qualified applicants. Winners will be notified shortly. To date, the American School has awarded more than $700,000 in post-secondary scholarships to our graduates, and information on entering next year's scholarship competition will be available later this year or in early 2012. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Today's Birthday: Anna Kournikova 

It's June 7, and Anna Kournikova turns 30 years old today. She was a professional tennis player for several years but eventually became more famous for her looks than her tennis game. Her looks and her athletic ability together helped her earn a spot as a trainer on the new season of The Biggest Loser coming up this fall. Before she hit the big time, though, Anna Kournikova took courses with the American School. She is a good example of a person who is willing to earn a high school education even though his or her lifestyle or career path might get in the way of attending a brick and mortar school. The American School's curriculum is portable. We send you textbooks, study guides and exams that you can use anywhere, or, if you enroll in our new online courses, you can study anywhere you bring your laptop. Enroll today and you'll see what we mean! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Online Student Center/Counselor Office Troubleshooting

If you are having trouble getting to the online student center, you may go directly to the site by typing the appropriate address from the following list.

For students and guarantors:

For counselors and other school officials:

If you have successfully gotten to the above sites, but the page does not advance when you click on the appropriate blue log-in button at the bottom of the screen, you may go directly to the log-in site you need by typing the appropriate address from the following list.

For student log-in:

For guarantor log-in:

For counselor/school log-in:

As previously posted, we recommend that you view the site using Internet Explorer. We hope that you are enjoying the benefits afforded to you by our Online Student Center, including secure access to your grades, help sheets for many of our courses, and links to useful Web sites, all of which are available exclusively to American School students.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For Counselors: How To Download Final Exams

It's nearing the end of the academic year and more and more counselors are needing final exams for their students. Since October 2010, the American School is no longer automatically sending final exams to schools. Instead, our final exams are available for counselors to download via our Online Counselor Office. Here are a few simple steps for counselors to follow while they attempt to download final exams for their students.

1. Go to our home page, , and click on the Student Center/Counselor Office link at the upper right of the page.

2. The next screen will have two links. Click the one for counselors or school officials. A new window may open.

3. The next screen is a gateway for the Online Counselor's Office. Click on the large blue School Login button at the bottom of the page.

4. The next screen will ask you for your school code and password. At this time, there is one code and one password per school. Enter the code and password in the appropriate boxes and hit the login button. If you do not have your school code and password, please call us at 708-418-2800 and ask to speak with Jeff or Paul and we will get you a school code and password as soon as possible.

5. Once you have logged in successfully you will see a series of links. Click on the very first one, which allows you to retrieve your students' academic records.

6. After clicking on the retrieve academic records link, you will see a list of all of your students who are taking courses with us. Click on the name of the student for whom you wish to print the final exam. That student's entire American School academic record will appear.

7. On the student's academic record page, any available final exam will appear in a blue link marked Final. Note that final exams are not available online until the first exam in the course has been graded. Click on the blue final exam link.

8. After you click on the blue final exam link, you will see an instructions screen. Click on the link on this instructions screen to proceed to the final exam itself. The final exam is in PDF format, so you will need Adobe Reader to view it.

9. Print the final exam, give the student the exam at a mutually convenient time.

10. Mail the exam to us for grading. There is no need to include a first page form with the final. Simply put the final exam in an envelope and mail it to 2200 East 170th Street, Lansing, IL 60438. We will do the rest. We hope this process makes final exam season smoother for you and your students!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

American School Announces New Referral Policy

Word of mouth is the best form of recommendation. That's why the American School is asking our students for help in referring prospective students to us. Send us your name, student number, home address, and the names and addresses of people you think would benefit from knowing about the American School. We'll send them information, and, if they enroll in a high school diploma program for one year or more, you will receive a credit of $50 towards payment of your tuition (or a check if your account is paid in full). It's a win-win situation! Contact our admissions department for more information.

Friday, March 25, 2011

American School Student Inspires Feature Film

American School student Bethany Hamilton is the subject of an upcoming feature film. The story of Hamilton, who was the victim of a shark attack while surfing and, as a result, lost an arm, will be told in Soul Surfer, starring Anna Sophia Robb, Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid and featuring Carrie Underwood. Look for Soul Surfer in theaters April 8. We hope you find Bethany's story inspirational!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

American School Earns Two Practical Homeschooling 2011 Reader Awards

The American School is the proud recipient of two Practical Homeschooling 2011 Reader Awards. Our Introduction to Computers course earned third place in the Computer Science category, and our Consumer Economics course earned third place in the Personal Finance category. We are very grateful for these awards, which prove our consistent efforts to give our students the best courses we can. Visit for more information on Practical Homeschooling magazine and their awards program.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tips For Counselors Wishing To Download Final Exams

We've had several counselors call us for help with downloading final exams for their students. Since graduation will be here before we know it, here is a step-by-step guide to downloading these finals. Access the online counselor office as you normally do. Enter your school code and password to access that portion of our site. Once your code and password have been accepted, you'll see a series of 10 links. Click on the very first one, which allows you to retrieve your students' academic records. Now you should see a list of all your students who are also taking (or took) our courses. Click on the name of the student for whom you wish to print a final exam. You should now see that student's entire American School academic record, which includes grades for all unit exams as well as a blue link for the final. Click on the link to open up a pdf version of the final. Print the final and administer it at your convenience. When finished, mail the exam to us. Counselors, if you have further questions about downloading finals, call Jeff at 708-418-2800. He'll be happy to assist you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Our Online Courses Launch Today!

Today is the big day! The American School is ushering in a new era of distance education by launching three new online courses, and today is the first day our new courses go live. Spots are still available in Pre-Algebra, Calculus and Economics. Pre-Algebra and Calculus are each one credit and cost $150 each, and Economics is one-half credit and costs $100. Pre-Algebra and Economics are open to all students, while students who plan to enroll in Calculus must have completed Algebra 2 in order to do so. Only the first 50 qualified students who apply can take these new courses, so think about enrolling today! For more details, email us at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Like Us On Facebook

The American School now has its own official Facebook page. Simply direct your browser to and click the Like button. Also, don't forget to follow us on Twitter @amerschoolcorr too. We're on the verge of doing some very exciting things, starting with the three online courses we introduced yesterday, and Facebook and Twitter are great ways for you to hear about American School news as it happens.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Practical Homeschooling Readers Like American School Courses

The readers of Practical Homeschooling Magazine selected the American School's Consumer Economics course and Introduction to Computers course as third-place winners in the magazine's 2011 Reader Awards. We are thrilled that so many homeschoolers from around the country like our courses, but we are not resting on our laurels. In fact, we're working more diligently than ever to offer our students the most innovative courses we can create. To that end, soon we will have a big announcement that will take American School courses in a new and exciting direction. Check back with this blog next week for more details.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

American School Offers New Final Exam Service To Counselors

The American School is pleased to announce that school counselors can now print the end-of-course final exams for their students whenever they need them simply by accessing the Online Counselor Center. Because we now have our library of final exams online and available for counselors to print, we are no longer automatically mailing final exams to counselors. If school counselors prefer not to print the final exams themselves, they may call our Student Service department at 708-418-2800 to request a copy be mailed to them. If school counselors do not have their school code and password to access the Online Counselor Center, they may call Paul at 708-418-2850 or Jeff at 708-418-2170 to request that a new code and password be sent to them through the regular mail. We hope that this new service will benefit both students and counselors alike.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Celebrating John Wooden's 100th Birthday

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who died earlier this year, would've turned 100 today, but he was more than just a basketball coach. Consider the following quotes, all of which are attributed to him, and think about how they can influence your career as an American School student. "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." "Never mistake activity for achievement." "Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then." "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are." "Be prepared and be honest." "Be quick, but don't hurry." "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." "You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you." "Winning takes talent; to repeat takes character." "A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment." "I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent." "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" "If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes." "It isn't what you do, but how you do it." "Ability is a poor man's wealth." "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be." "Consider the rights of others before your own feelings and the feelings of others before your own rights." "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." "Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability." "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." "Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful." "Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." "Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Final Four Blog 4: Duke

Today we conclude our look at the teams and schools in the Final Four by discussing Duke. The Blue Devils are making their 11th Final Four appearance under legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski and are looking to win Coach K's fourth national championship. This year the Blue Devils relied on three elite scorers and good team defense to get to Indianapolis, and now they are just two wins away from reclaiming their place as college basketball's elite program. In terms of your education, you can take a page out of Duke's book and try to create a good support system for yourself. Coach K alone doesn't make Duke great. Neither do the players themselves. Collectively, the coaches, players and staff work together and support each other. In the same way, you will be doing your own work throughout your American School curriculum, but surround yourself with good influences, whether they be your parents, friends, relatives or other people who believe in you. Looking ahead to college, Duke is a small private school consistently ranked in the top 20 universities in America. Attending a school such as Duke requires hard work, but you can do anything you put your mind to. Another point to remember is that the American School is fully accredited, so your American School diploma carries the same value as diplomas from resident schools. It should NOT be a hindrance in you being accepted at Duke, West Virginia, Butler, Michigan State or any other college you wish to attend. We hope you've enjoyed this week of Final Four blogs and that you came away with the impression that these schools are about much more than basketball. They are universities that happen to have sports teams, not the other way around, and the players in the games this weekend are student-athletes, not athlete-students. We'll resume regular blogs next week, but for now, enjoy the Final Four and have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Final Four Blog 3: West Virginia

Our series of Final Four blogs continues today with West Virginia. The Mountaineers are making their first trip to the Final Four since 1959 and are perhaps the most athletic team in the field. That's not to say WV has always been sharp this season. They found themselves trailing Notre Dame by 20 at halftime before making a furious comeback that fell just short. In several other games, they were down big but rallied for victories. Their ability to make comebacks is a reminder that they will not go down without a fight in Indianapolis. In your high school career, you're going to have bad days. The important thing to remember is that you have opportunities to bounce back. There's always the next exam on which you can do better and improve your overall grade for the course. No mountain is too big to climb if you put your mind to it. Looking ahead to college, West Virginia has many of the same characteristics as Michigan State, which we discussed in Monday's blog. Don't forget that our guidance office can help you with the college application process, and the American School offers scholarships to qualified graduates. We'll wrap up our Final Four blogs tomorrow with a look at Duke, so make plans to join us then.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Final Four Blog 2: Butler

We continue our series of Final Four blogs by looking at the most unlikely of this year's Final Four: Butler. If you think the Bulldogs' run to the Final Four is something out of Hollywood, you'd be right. They play their home games in Hinkle Fieldhouse, where the movie Hoosiers was filmed. The small school on the north side of Indianapolis will bring its tough defense and winning attitude across town to Lucas Oil Stadium for the Final Four, and they'll bring the nation's longest winning streak–24 games–with them. Very few people thought Butler would get this far, and perhaps outsiders or maybe even you yourself feel the same way about your education. Maybe people have told you you're not good enough or smart enough to get where you want to go. Don't listen to them. Believe in yourself and you can do anything you want to do, including earning your high school diploma. Looking ahead to college, don't be afraid to strongly consider smaller schools like Butler. Smaller schools can offer comfortable class sizes, a homey atmosphere, and are sometimes closer to your hometown than larger state schools. Remember that, while your friends may be attending the popular school, you have to choose the school that is best for you, whether it's large, small, or someplace in between. Join us again tomorrow as our series continues with a look at West Virginia.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Final Four Blog 1: Michigan State

All this week, the American School Blog will be talking about the four teams participating in this weekend's Final Four in Indianapolis. We'll do so in a way that gives you some insight into the teams and some insight into your education, both at the American School and beyond. First up is Michigan State. There has been a Spartan existence in six of the last 12 Final Fours, but this year's club is perhaps the biggest surprise of the six. Highly touted in the preseason (and indeed your blogger's pick to win it all before the season began), MSU dealt with injuries in the regular season and in the NCAA Tournament but persevered and is now two wins away from its second national championship in 11 years. As you continue your American School work, earn a lesson from MSU and don't let adversity get you down. You're going to face tough classes and confront material which doesn't suit your talents or interests. It happens to everyone at some point. Don't give up and use that as an excuse for not giving your best effort. Learn to make the best of what you have and keep moving forward. Looking ahead to college, certainly state schools like Michigan State have a lot to offer. Large schools offer more majors, have thousands of students, are usually more affordable than smaller colleges, and are often located in urban settings. These are all things to consider as you decide which college is best for you. Be sure to come back tomorrow and read about Butler's amazing run to the Final Four and what lessons you can learn from the upstart Bulldogs.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Reminder About Telephone Numbers

Recently we have seen an increase in the number of current or past students calling our 866 number to receive information about their records. The 866 number is only for prospective students. If you are a current or past student, please call 708-418-2800 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Central time, and we will be happy to answer your questions immediately. Thank you for your understanding.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Reminder About E-mail Addresses

A reminder to students and parents who use our Online Student Center to monitor academic progress. If you need to add or change your e-mail address, you MUST do this yourself after you log into the Online Student Center. Simply click the "change e-mail address or password" link and follow the instructions. You do not need to change your password in order to change your e-mail address. Also, be aware that we send grade notification e-mails only to e-mail addresses which have been entered after using the student log-in button and student code and password to access the site. We do not send grade notification e-mails to e-mail addresses which have been entered after using the guarantor log-in button and guarantor code and password to access the site. If you have questions about adding or changing your e-mail address, please let us know by writing to or by calling 708-418-2800 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. CST Monday through Friday. Thank you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

MTV Features American School In "True Life: I'm Homeschooled"

This week MTV has begun airing a homeschool-themed episode of its popular True Life series. The hour-long episode, entitled "I'm Homeschooled" includes a segment on an American School student and will air on Wednesday, January 13, at 1 p.m. EST, with additional dates and times to be announced on MTV's web site,, and, if possible, on this blog.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Enroll Online Today!

The American School is kicking off 2010 with a bang! Beginning today, you don't have to print out an application from our Web site or request one be sent to you in the mail if you want to become our student. You can enroll with a credit card online. Visit We look forward to having you as our student in the new year!

Monday, October 5, 2009

American School Receives Centennial Award

This past weekend, the Illinois State Historical Society presented the American School with a Centennial Award in recognition of the School's 107 years of business in the state of Illinois. Originally founded in Boston in 1897, the School moved to Chicago in 1902 as part of a 5-year collaborative experiment with the Armour Institute of Technology, and the School has been headquartered in Illinois ever since. The American School is one of just 24 businesses or groups to receive a Centennial Award this year. Not only is this a significant achievement for the School, but it's a significant achievement for our past, present and future students as well. It's a sign that the American School has existed for a long time in part because it has adapted to the changing times. This is evident in recent years as the School has expanded its online presence, and we look forward to serving our students in the years to come.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

American School Receives A+ Rating From BBB

The American School is pleased to announced that we have been given a grade of A+ by the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. The A+ grade is the highest a business can receive under the BBB's new rating system, which replaces the previous 'satisfactory' or 'unsatisfactory' rating. Letter grades are calculated by computer using a ratings formula that takes into account 17 weighted factors, the largest single factor being the company's overall complaint history with the BBB. We are proud of our 75-year affiliation with the BBB and even prouder to receive this A+ rating. When you enroll with us, you can be assured that you'll receive A+ service from us as you work to achieve A+ grades of your own on your way to your high school diploma.

Friday, March 13, 2009

American School Honored By Better Business Bureau

The American School received special recognition from the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois at the BBB's 82nd annual dinner meeting. The BBB chose to honor us because we are in our 75th year of supporting their efforts to maintain ethical business practices in the marketplace. American School President Gary R. Masterton graciously accepted the award and described how we incorporate the BBB's standards and values into our business model and policies. Other speakers and honorees include Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago television personalities Allison Rosati and Darlene Hill. We are proud of our affiliation with the Better Business Bureau because it helps us provide our students with the best service possible. We look forward to working with them for the next 75 years and beyond.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Online Student Center Reminders

Today's blog entry continues our periodic series of reminders to students, guarantors and counselors who plan to access our Online Student Center.

1. Recently several people have called us to say that they cannot get to the screen where they enter their code and password. After they hit the appropriate blue log-in button, the screen does not advance, and the same screen comes up. This is likely caused by using AOL's browser to navigate the Internet. We recommend using Internet Explorer as your main Internet browser when you attempt to visit the Online Student Center. Internet Explorer is pre-installed on most computers, and you can use Internet Explorer as your browser even though you are connected to the Internet through AOL.

2. For students and guarantors, once you have successfully logged into the Online Student Center, it is important to provide us with an e-mail address. You may do this by clicking on the 'Change E-mail Address And/Or Password' link that appears on your list of options on the first screen you see after you log into the Online Student Center. Providing us with your e-mail address allows us to resend your password to you in case you lose it and to send you periodic e-mails announcing chat sessions, new courses and more.

3. For students only, the e-mail address you provide will be the one at which you receive e-mail notification of grades. Thirty minutes after we enter your grade into our main computer system, it will be posted in the Online Student Center and you will receive a grade notification e-mail. Grade notification e-mails are not sent to e-mail addresses provided after a guarantor logs into the site, but those e-mail addresses will receive the e-mails described in Step 2 above.

4. For counselors only, you may provide us with an e-mail address at which we will send you weekly student progress reports. You may do this by following the steps for changing counselor report preferences that appear on the first page you see after successfully logging into the Online Student Center.

5. For anyone providing us with an e-mail address, please add the domain to your safe list. This will ensure that you receive e-mails from us. Many of the larger e-mail services mistakenly think our e-mails are spam because we send thousands of grade notification e-mails a day to our students all over the world. Any e-mail we send out is not spam. In fact, e-mails that you receive from us are some of the most important ones you'll get all day. We don't want you to miss them.

We hope that the above reminders will enable to you get the most out of using the Online Student Center. Keep checking this blog for more reminders and announcements as we continue to update the Online Student Center to serve you.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Words About Passwords

It's August 25, and entertainer Regis Philbin turns 77 years old today. He's best known for hosting Live with Regis and Kelly and Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, but his latest game show success is as host of Million Dollar Password. The passwords that we assign our students after they enroll might not be worth a million bucks, but they are very important nonetheless. The password, along with your code, will give you access to the Online Student Center, where you can view your grades, download help sheets, visit homework web sites, and participate in chat sessions. From time to time, students, parents and counselors have questions about their passwords. Please take a moment to review the following reminders. 1. The American School sends code and password letters ONLY through the regular U.S. Mail. We do NOT send new codes and passwords by any other means, including fax or email. The only time a person can receive a password via email is if the person has previously entered an email address into our system and has forgotten the original password. Then we will be able to send you your original password via email. 2. Passwords sometimes contain commonly confused characters. These include the letter o and the number zero and a lowercase L and the number one. If you have one of these characters in your password and are not able to access the site, please try the similar-looking character and see if you can access the site by using it instead. We hope that these two reminders will help make your Online Student Center experience more efficient. We thank you for making the American School your final answer when it comes to earning your high school diploma.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Happy 1st Birthday, American School Blog!

Today is July 11, and one year ago today, this American School Blog was born. In that very first blog, we talked about the Major League Baseball All-Star game, which was being played in Pittsburgh that evening, and how earning your high school diploma from the American School can make you an all-star too. Since then, this blog has had a starring role in giving you the latest American School information. For example, regular blog readers were the first to know about the opening of the American School's online student center, the first to know about the American School's 3,000,000th student, and the first to know about the American School's new service of having your grades emailed to you. As we look back over the blog's first year, we hope that this blog has been both informative (since we've profiled all of our courses and have told you about many of our school procedures) and fun (see our Bob Barker Tribute last month). As this blog begins its second year, we're looking forward to doing more of the same, but even better. This blog will be the place you find out the date and time of the first American School live chat session coming up later this summer, and when our other exciting changes and developments happen, you'll be among the first to know those too! If this blog had a birthday wish, it's that you tell your friends to read the blog too. Then even more people will become familiar with the American School and everything we have to offer.

Friday, June 22, 2007

American School Launches Grade Notification Service

From time to time this blog talks about the headway the American School is making in using the Internet to better serve its students. Today is one of those occasions. If you have a valid email address in our system, we will email you your exam grades within 15 minutes after they are entered into our system. As you know, grades are posted in our online student center within 15 minutes after they are entered into our main system, and this service has been met with rave reviews from students, parents and counselors alike. Now we are making it even easier by having your numeric grades delivered right to your inbox. In preparation for this new service, please put the domain on your email safe list. This will ensure that you receive your grades and other emails from us without interruption. As usual, your exams themselves will arrive at your home 5-10 days after they have been graded and entered into our system. Even though you can now have grades emailed to you, by no means should you shun the online student center. For one thing, the online student center is the only place where you will be able to see your entire academic history, and from there you will also have access to help sheets and helpful homework Web sites.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Fabulous Showcases

Today as Bob Barker ends his run as host of The Price is Right, we end our series of tribute blogs in grand style. At the end of each episode of The Price is Right, contestants are shown two fabulous showcases filled with fantastic prizes. The contestant who bids closest to the actual amount of his or her showcase without going over wins all the prizes in that showcase, and if a contestant is within $250 of the actual price of the showcase, he or she will win both showcases. Since this is the final blog in our special tribute, it's a good time to showcase what the American School can offer you. To do so, we'll incorporate the names of some other pricing games that we didn't have time to discuss in our series. One of the first pieces of information you'll receive from us after you enroll is a Lucky Seven-digit student number. That student number is important because you will need it when you access our online student center. You don't need to worry about one of those Safe Crackers having access to your records. Our online student center is completely safe, and to ensure security, we only issue codes and passwords through the mail. New enrollments now have the option of paying by Credit Card, and with our affordable pricing plans, you'll never say That's Too Much when talking about paying for your American School education. We are happy to serve students who need additional credits too. Sometimes people feel like they've already had their 3 Strikes and won't complete high school. We believe that a student should have 2, 3 or even Ten Chances to succeed. When you near the end of your American school curriculum and are One Away from graduating, we will take special care to ensure that your diploma is sent to you as soon as possible after you complete your work. It's a proud day for you and for us when your high school education is In The Bag and you've hit the Bullseye and earned your diploma. We'll be back to our regular blogs on Monday, but our tribute wouldn't be complete without a traditional signoff: 'This is Bob Blogger reminding you to help control the uneducated population. Have yourself and your friends educated with the American School. Goodbye everybody!'

Thursday, June 14, 2007


We close the pricing games portion of our Bob Barker Tribute with perhaps the best-known and most popular of all pricing games, Plinko. In this game, a contestant gets the chance to win five Plinko chips by correctly guessing the prices of small appliances. Then the contestant climbs a staircase to the top of the giant Plinko board, which is made up of many rows of pegs all offset from each other. At the bottom of the board are these slots: $100, $500, $1000, 0, $10000, 0, $1000, $500, $100. The contestant lays a chip flat against the board and releases it. The chip bounces off the pegs and ultimately lands in a slot, and the contestant wins money that corresponds to the slot in which the chip lands. In the early days of Plinko, chips would hit pegs and fly off the board and onto the stage. Other times they would get stuck on a peg and not go all the way down. These days the Plinko board is covered in clear plexiglas to prevent chips from flying off, but in the event that chips still get stuck, Bob uses the trusty Plinko stick to pry them loose. Since this is everyone's favorite game, it's likely to be played on Bob's final episode, which airs tomorrow in daytime and in prime time. As exciting as it is to watch the Plinko chips fall down the board and into slots, you can't just let the chips fall where they may when it comes to your education. Getting a good education requires hard work, determination and a can-do attitude. The American School can help you get the education you have always wanted and the education you deserve. Download, print, complete and mail your application today, and come back tomorrow for the fabulous showcases as our Bob Barker Tribute concludes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cliff Hangers

If you watched The Price is Right yesterday, you got a chance to see for yourself how Hole In One is played after reading about it in yesterday's blog. As wonderful as it was to see the contestant roll in his second putt to win the car, yesterday's show reached new heights in the following game, which was Cliff Hangers. We couldn't do a series of blogs about The Price is Right without devoting a day to this great game. Cliff Hangers begins with a mountain climber at the base of a mountain. There are 25 steps from the base of the mountain to the top of the cliff. The contestant is asked to bid on three small prizes. If the contestant guesses a price exactly right, the mountain climber stays where he is. If the contestant misses (which is usually the case), the mountain climber will move one step for per dollar difference between the contestant's guess and the actual price while yodeling music plays in the background. For example, a contestant might bid $35 on a handy appliance that lets you cook an egg and toast a muffin at the same time. The actual price of that item is $39, so the mountain climber would move 4 places while the audience yodels along with the music. If the mountain climber is still on the board after the contestant has bid on all three prizes, the contestant will win a larger prize such as a spa or furniture. If the mountain climber falls off the cliff, more's the pity. When it comes to your education, maybe you think you have many mountains standing in your way. These mountains might include time, money and lack of self-confidence, and they might be steep mountains, but you shouldn't be afraid to climb them. The American School can give you the tools you need: not ropes and hooks and things the mountain climber in Cliff Hangers would use if he was climbing a real mountain, but things like the ability to work at your own pace, flexible and reasonable payment plans, and helpful feedback from our instructors to boost your self-confidence. When you receive your American School diploma, you will feel proud that you conquered these mountains, and you'll have the confidence and the skills you need to conquer any other mountains that come your way. Take a 'peak' at the rest of our Web site for more details, and be sure to come back tomorrow for the final pricing game in our Bob Barker Tribute.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hole In One

Today's pricing game in our Bob Barker Tribute coincides nicely with the U.S. Open golf tournament going on later this week at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh. Holes in one will be rare at Oakmont, but holes in one happen about once a week on The Price is Right when the game called Hole in One is played. To win the car, a contestant must make a putt on a miniature putting green. The distance of that putt is determined by how accurate the contestant prices six grocery items from cheapest to most expensive. If the contestant prices all six items correctly, he or she wins a $500 bonus and has a tap-in putt to win the car, but the earlier a contestant makes a mistake, the farther his or her putt is. Needless to say, not all contestants are Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson or Jim Furyk, and many of them miss their putt. Fortunately for them, Bob gives them a second chance and the game becomes Hole in One (or Two). The American School gives students second chances too. Many of our students take a course with us to make up credits so they can graduate on time with their classes. We also give our students second chances to pass exams they have failed by assigning them alternate exams with specific helpful comments from our instructors. One of Hole in One's best-known features is Bob's inspiration putt, in which he'll putt from the farthest point on the putting green in an attempt to inspire the contestant. It is our hope that after you read this blog and check out the rest of our Web site that you will be inspired to enroll with the American School and continue your education. Do that today, but come back tomorrow as our exciting Bob Barker Tribute will reach new heights. And yes, that's a hint at what tomorrow's game will be!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Big Wheel

If there's one item that immediately comes to mind when you think of The Price is Right, it's probably the big wheel that contestants spin at the end of the first and second halves of the show to see who will advance to the Showcase Showdown. Contestants have up to two spins to see who is closest to a dollar without going over. If a contestant gets a dollar, he or she gets a bonus spin. If the bonus spin lands on the green 5 or 15, the contestant gets a $5000 bonus. If the bonus spin lands on the $1.00, the contestant gets a $10,000 bonus. Here at the American School, we are doing much more than spinning our wheels. In fact, our wheels are always in motion, moving the School and its curriculum forward. This blog has spoken several times about the online student center and all the new features that are available there to American School students, parents and counselors. Soon we will be giving you the option of having grades directly emailed to you within an hour of their entry into our main system. Those grades might come from some of our new courses too. A revised British Literature course will be available soon, and Latin 2 is in the early stages of development. Another new development just happened last week. We now accept credit cards as a method of payment. See our June 5 blog for more details, and come back tomorrow as we begin the second half of our Bob Barker Tribute.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Any Number

Today we wind up the first half of our Bob Barker Tribute by going all the way back to the very first pricing game played on The Price is Right when the show premiered in 1972. That game is Any Number, and 35 years later, it remains one of the show's most popular games. The premise is simple. The contestant sees a board with three prizes and spaces for numbers in the prices of those prizes. One of those prizes is an automobile which costs at least $10,000, one is a prize which costs between $102 and $987, and the piggy bank consists of an amount between $1.02 and $9.87. The first number in the price of the car is given to the contestant as a freebie. The contestant then begins calling out numbers 0 through 9, and those numbers go where they belong on the board. Each number (not counting the first digit in the price of the car) is used only once. The contestant wins the first prize whose price is completed. When it comes to enrolling in high school, we know you have any number of options, from public school to private school to home school. Sometimes those who enroll in a large public school feel like a number or a face in the crowd rather than uniquely talented students that they are. We can ensure you that when you enroll with the American School, you won't be just any number with us. Yes, you will be a given a student number, and that student number is important. It will allow us to better monitor your academic progress, and it, along with a password, will grant you access to our online student center. But more than that, you will be a student first, and our main goal is to give you a quality education. Others feel the cost of enrolling in a private school is just too big a number for their family to bear. Our four-year program costs $1189. When you do the math, that's $297 a year, $5.63 a week, or 81 cents a day. No doubt our price is definitely right! Next week we'll be back with a showcase showdown, three more pricing games, and the exciting showcases a week from today. Have a terrific weekend!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Master Key

Today we're going to play Master Key. On The Price is Right, this game is played for three prizes, one of which is a car. By correctly guessing the prices of two smaller items, a contestant can select two of five keys. Each of the five keys has a different effect on the three locks which represent the three prizes the contestant can win. One key is a dud and opens nothing. Three of the keys open one lock each. One of the five keys is the Master Key, which opens all three locks. If a contestant picks the Master Key, he or she wins all three prizes. The American School works with keys too. Our Curriculum department, in collaboration with our Instruction department, puts together the keys that our instructors use to grade exams. You might think that keys only consist of the correct answers, but American School keys consist of much more. They include point values so that all of our instructors can grade your exams fairly, accurately and consistently. Our keys include page references so that, in the event you miss a question, the instructor can write on your exam the page number where you may find the correct answer. We also put supplemental information on each key so that our instructors can pass more information on to you if you are interested in a particular topic. You can also rest assured that the people who use our keys to grade your exams are highly-qualified. All of our instructors have completed at least 24 college hours in the subjects they grade, and many have advanced degrees. As you can see, well-written keys are, well, key to our success and your success. Let the American School unlock your future. Enroll today, but be sure to come back tomorrow for the next pricing game in our weeklong Bob Barker Tribute.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Golden Road

The Golden Road is always the first pricing game of the day whenever it is played on The Price is Right, so it is appropriate that it is the first game we talk about in our special Bob Barker Tribute. The Golden Road is very large and takes up the entire stage. Therefore, whenever it is played, Bob will make his stage entrance by walking through the audience rather than coming out of the giant doors. The game begins with a grocery item (such as a can of corn) which costs less than a dollar. The contestant sees the price of the grocery item and then goes over to a prize whose price is between $100 and $999. One of the numbers in that price is missing, and the contestant has to decide which of the two numbers in the price of the grocery item is the missing number. The process continues with a prize whose price is between $1000 and $9999 (the missing number in this price is found in the price of the three-digit prize) and continues to the end of the Golden Road where a prize whose price is usually over $50,000 awaits (the missing number in this price is found in the price of the four-digit prize). Your American School experience is much like the Golden Road. That game is set up so that the contestants will, at the very least, make it to the four-digit prize. Your first couple courses with us, Planning Your Career and Psychology, are designed to give you the solid footing you will need to continue in our curriculum. In these courses, you will learn more about yourself and become comfortable with the process of earning your high school diploma at home. Just like the prizes build on one another in the Golden Road, subsequent courses will build on the knowledge you learned in those initial courses. At the end of the Golden Road, the contestant, if he or she is lucky, will win a fabulous prize such as a sports car or a motor home. At the end of your American School experience, you, if you work hard, will receive something more fabulous: an American School diploma. Check out the rest of our Web site for more details, and come back again tomorrow to see which pricing game we'll talk about next! 

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Important Online Student Center Information

The American School's Online Student Center is up and running, and we have received many calls from students, guarantors and counselors who are pleased with this new service we are providing. We have, however, received calls from a handful of people who, for a variety of reasons, have not been able to access certain portions of the site. This blog offers the following suggestions. If you are having trouble getting to the online student center, you may go directly to the site by typing the appropriate address from the following list. For students and guarantors:

For counselors and other school officials:

If you have successfully gotten to the above sites, but the page does not advance when you click on the appropriate blue log-in button at the bottom of the screen, you may go directly to the log-in site you need by typing the appropriate address from the following list. For student log-in:

For guarantor log-in:

For counselor/school log-in:

As previously posted, we recommend that you view the site using Internet Explorer. We hope that you are enjoying the benefits afforded to you by our Online Student Center, including secure access to your grades, help sheets for many of our courses, and links to useful Web sites, all of which are available exclusively to American School students.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

American School Welcomes Three-Millionth Student

Recently the American School enrolled the three-millionth student in its storied 109-year history. Timothy Graziano, 15, of Tinley Park, Illinois, and his mother, Krista, visited the school last week, where they were given a tour of the building and received gifts commemorating Tim's achievement. American School President Gary Masterton presented Tim with a certificate, an American School pen and pencil set and an American School watch, among other gifts. Other American School dignitaries joining in the celebration were Roberta Allen (Vice-President/Curriculum Director), John McCulley (Vice-President/Educational Director), Marie Limback (Prinicpal), Vince Immordino (Comptroller) and William Hunding (Trustee). Tim and Krista were very appreciative of the gifts they received. Even though they had never visited the School before, they knew about the American School because Tim's brother, Tony, is also an American School student. 'We enrolled Tim with the American School because we were familiar with it,' Krista explained. 'We knew what was expected, we are pleased with the customer service, and the School has an affordable montly payment.' Tim is looking forward to a career in perhaps the education or medical fields, but before then, he is excited about taking the American School's World History and Food Study courses, since becoming a chef is also a possible career option. When he visited the school last week, he also took note of the American School's dedicated staff. 'I was surprised by how many people work here,' he said. 'I thought it would be smaller, but it was definitely nice meeting everyone.' And we at the American School enjoyed meeting Tim and Krista too. It's not every day we meet our students and parents in person, but it's not every day we enroll our three-millionth student either. We are already on our way to serving four million students, and you can be a part of it by enrolling today. You'll receive the same outstanding customer service and affordable monthly payments that the Grazianos receive, and you'll feel like a million bucks when you receive your American School diploma. Get started today!