About American School


American School is one of the oldest and largest distance education institutions in the world.  From our beginning, we have been chartered as an institution “not organized for the distribution of profits to its members” and have continued on that not-for-profit basis for more than a century.  Our current purpose and philosophy is as follows:

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

We have called the Chicago area home for much of our 127-year existence, but the American School was founded in Boston in 1897 by R.T. Miller and a group of graduates and faculty members from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. By 1900, students had enrolled from all over the United States, and two years later, the Armour Institute (now the Illinois Institute of Technology) invited American School to move to Chicago to conduct a five-year educational experiment. During that time, the School added several more courses and eventually moved to a new location in the Hyde Park neighborhood near the University of Chicago. American School stayed in that location until 1996, when it moved to its current location in Lansing, Illinois, a far south suburb of Chicago.

American School has no owners or stockholders but instead is controlled by a Board of Trustees.  The Board of Trustees elects the President and Executive Committee which lead the School on a day-to-day basis.

In our history, we have helped more than three million students earn their high school diplomas. Several of our students have become famous in entertainment, sports, the arts and the business world.  The biographies of our famous students and graduates appear below, but American School treats every student in exactly the same way.  Students enroll in rigorous and innovative curriculum at an affordable cost, receive caring service from instructors and staff, and can feel comfortable taking accredited courses from a school with outstanding credibility.




Jessica Alba

Jessica kicked her career into high gear when she was cast in the hit television series “Dark Angel”. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and won a TV Guide Award as Breakout Star of the Year for her performance. Her film credits include the role of Susan Storm, Invisible Girl, in the 2005 feature “Fantastic Four”.  Off-screen, Jessica co-founded The Honest Company in 2011.

Tiffany Evans

At age 11, Tiffany won the Junior Singer category on “Star Search” and performed the music video “Who Am I” on the “Tarzan II” DVD. She released a self-titled studio album in early 2008 and has appeared in several television shows and movies.

The Everly Brothers

Hits like “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Bye Bye Love” put Don and Phil Everly on the top of the music world in the late 1950s and later helped them become among the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

De’Borah Garner

De’Borah appeared on Season 3 of NBC’s “The Voice” and her song “Coming Out Looking Good” was released in Spring 2013.

Donny and Marie Osmond

Donny and Marie teamed up for hit television shows in the 1970s and 1990s in between crafting successful careers as solo performers. Donny hit #1 in the 1970s with “Go Away Little Girl” and has had numerous top 10 records in the decades following. He reinvented himself in the 1990s and began a six-year run in the title role of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” that played to sold out theaters across the United States and Canada. More recently, he was runner-up in the first season of “The Masked Singer”. Marie became the first female country artist to debut with a #1 record when “Paper Roses” reached the summit in 1973. That song helped her earn a gold record and Grammy nomination the following year. More recently, she has appeared in many television movies, starred on Broadway in “The King and I” and was co-host of “The Talk”.

The Osmond Brothers

In their five-decade career, the Osmonds have sold out more shows than the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Pop, rock and country hits-including the chart-topper “One Bad Apple”-have helped Allan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay and Jimmy garner several gold and platinum records and a People’s Choice Award.

Christopher Paolini

Chris has taken millions of readers into fabulous fantasy worlds in his novels Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance.  Chris’ books regularly appear on top of the best seller lists, and Eragon was adapted into a full-length motion picture in 2006.



Andre Agassi

Andre is one of greatest American tennis players of all-time. He is one of only five men to have won all four Grand Slam events-the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. His 60 tournament titles include eight Grand Slam triumphs in all, and in 1996 he added an Olympic gold medal to his trophy case.

Bob Feller

Bob’s 266 wins and three no-hitters while pitching for the Cleveland Indians were more than enough to earn him induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He also earned the title of “Greatest Living Right-Hand Pitcher” in 1969 as part of Professional Baseball’s Centennial Celebration. Off the field, he earned eight battle stars while serving in the United States Navy during World War II.

Bethany Hamilton

Bethany is one of the top surfers in the world despite losing her left arm in a shark attack in 2003.  Her autobiography Soul Surfer was adapted into a motion picture in 2011, and she and her husband appeared on CBS’s The Amazing Race in Fall 2014.

Ryan Hartman

Ryan was selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft (30th selection overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks.  He was a gold medalist for Team USA at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship and led the USA-NTP U-17 team in scoring during the 2012-2013 season.  His NHL career includes stints with the Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota Wild.

Kathleen Horvath

Kathleen was a professional tennis player who was the only person to defeat Martina Navratilova during Navratilova’s 86-1 season in 1994.  Her victory over Navratilova came in the fourth round of the French Open and prevented Navratilova from achieving the calendar year Grand Slam.

Katie Hoff

Katie is a champion swimmer who competed in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.  In 2008, Katie earned a silver medal in the 400 meter freestyle and bronze medals in the 400 meter individual medley and the 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay.  In addition, she is a five-time world champion, with record-setting performances in the 400 meter individual medley and 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay in 2007.

Anna Kournikova

Anna became an international sensation when she burst on the tennis scene in the late 1990s. She has 13 doubles titles to her credit, including a pair of Australian Open championships. Her singles career includes four runner-up finishes and a semifinal appearance at Wimbledon in 1997.

Travis Pastrana

Travis put his wheels in motion and soared to new heights as a motocross racer. His accomplishments include winning gold medals in the Summer X Games and Summer Gravity Games.  He has also driven in NASCAR events and has starred in Nitro Circus.

Mary Pierce

Mary has two Grand Slam titles to her credit, winning the Australian Open in 1995 and the French Open in 2000. Consistently ranked among the top players in the world, she also has four runner-up finishes in Grand Slam events, including the 2005 French Open and 2005 U.S. Open.

Garrett Smith

Garrett was one of the Faces in the Crowd in Sports Illustrated‘s September 9, 2013 issue.  He scored 1690 points in six events at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming, and became the first three-time All-Around Cowboy in the event’s 65-year history.

Deanna Stellato

Deanna’s ice escapades include winning the 1999 United States National Championship in the novice division. She also skated her way to a second-place finish in the 2000 World Junior Championships and placed in the top five of many other national and international competitions.  Deanna’s career was revitalized in the 2020s when she became a pairs skater.  Alongside Maxime Deschamps she won the 2024 World Championship and placed first at five other national and international competitions that same year.  At age 40, she became the oldest woman to win a figure skating world championship.

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline won the Australian Open tennis tournament in 2018 and was runner-up at the U.S. Open in 2009 and 2014.  During her career she was ranked #1 in the world for a total of 71 weeks, including stints at the top in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2018.


The Arts and Humanitarian Efforts

Brittney Exline

Brittney’s American School work helped her graduate from high school at age 15 and attend college at the University of Pennsylvania, where she planned to earn degrees from Penn’s engineering and liberal arts schools. Because she enrolled at an Ivy League school at such a young age, she was featured in articles on Yahoo News and MSN. Academically, Brittney excels in math, science and social studies. In her free time, she enjoys singing and dancing and has won several teen pageant titles.

Dr. Andrew Fowler

Deaf since age 11, Andrew is identified as the first African-American student to graduate from Gallaudet University and later earned a MA in Education from what would become Eastern Michigan University.  He later established a mission group for deaf Africans and founded more than 30 schools for the deaf in Africa, earning him recognition as the Father of Deaf Education in Africa.

Shulamit Ran

Winning the 1991 Pulitzer Prize was music to Shulamit’s ears, and her Pulitzer-winning symphony also earned her the 1992 Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. She continues to compose contemporary music in addition to her responsibilities as a professor of music at the University of Chicago.

Rachel Weathersby

Rachel is a rising star in the fashion industry.  Her Mme. Weathersby designs have been worn by celebrities and are available for purchase in retail stores around the country, as well as through several web sites.

Jamie Wyeth

Jamie followed in the footsteps and brushstrokes of his father and grandfather and became a successful artist. While best known for his portraits and landscape scenes, he has also designed coins, United States postage stamps and official White House greeting cards.

Sho Yano

Sho earned his high school diploma from American School at age 9. Three years later, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University in Chicago and enrolled in a dual Ph.D. and M.D. medical scientist program.  In 2009, at age 18, he earned a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and cell biology from the University of Chicago.  In 2012, at age 21, he became the youngest person to receive an M.D. degree from the University of Chicago.  He is currently a resident in pediatric neurology.



Robert Parmley, P.E.

Robert co-founded Morgan & Parmley, Ltd. in 1976 and has served as its president since 1978. He and his fellow professional engineers design dams, bridges, water treatment facilities and other structures near his hometown of Ladysmith, Wisconsin. In addition to his design work, Robert has written 15 engineering handbooks and more than 40 articles in professional journals. His many accomplishments earned him the Wisconsin Professional Engineer of the Year award in 2006 and the USDA-RD Director’s Award for Engineering Excellence in 2007.

Richard Pieper

Richard is the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of PPC Partners, Inc., which was formerly known as PIEPERPOWER and Pieper Electric.  In 2006, he started the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership and today devotes most of his time to philanthropic efforts dealing with character development and servant leadership and is co-founder of the Suzanne and Richard Pieper Family Foundation.  For his efforts, Richard received the 2009 Lakefront Leadership Award from the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center and the 2013 American Patriot of Character Award from the Character Education Partnership.  He is also a member of the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame.


Other Notable American School Students

Wilson Chandler (basketball)

Alexander and Danielle Gamelin (ice dancing)

Randi Griffin (hockey)

Elena Hight (snowboarding)

Andrea Jaeger (tennis)

Vincent Kunkler (artist)

Robert Morstein-Marx (Rhodes Scholar)

Anna Maria Padilla (guitarist)

Sara Elizabeth (singer)

Selena (singer)

Phillip Simmonds (tennis)

Tanya Street (figure skating)

Daniel Trifan (guitarist)

Marioara Trifan (pianist)

Giegorio Vargas (circus)

Aurelia Wallenda (circus)

Andrea Zoppi (circus)

Justino Zoppi (circus)

and more than three million more.

Homeschooling has taught me a lot of new things.  It has taught me self-discipline and made me take my studies more seriously than before.  I have learned to study properly.  The books and materials were very helpful.  It is a fun experience to do homeschooling.  Many people are amazed to know that I did homeschooling.  This has opened and changed a lot of people’s minds.

– Jekah from United Arab Emirates

American School has more to offer than any public school.  Two of my children, two of my grandchildren, and one niece completed their high school education with American School, and my sister and I are enrolled at the present time.

– Marilyn from Missouri

I learned a lot, and the skills are helping me in my college classes.

The most important thing I learned was how to schedule my time and organize my work.  The study guides helped to show me how much work to do at one time.  I’m glad to be part of American School.

– Peter from Illinois

I have found the methods, instruction, textbooks, study guides and service satisfactory because they are all up-to-date and made ready for me to learn.  I am greatly thankful for this service because now I can graduate early with all my credits in.  Thank you very much, American School!

– Ada from Michigan

American School was an easy yet efficient way to earn the extra credit I needed to graduate.

– Elizabeth from Illinois

I greatly enjoyed American School.  The instructors’ comments were very helpful.  I enjoyed this method of learning.  I feel I have learned a lot more than I did in public school.  I was able to keep up with school through all the moves I made without going through the hassle of switching school systems.  I enjoyed the honesty of the

instructors and the overall program.   I will recommend American School to anyone interested.

– Enoch from Texas

Get Started Today. Choose a Program Below. 

Why you should enroll with American School…
We call these our Four C’s.


American School’s innovative paper-based and online curriculum offers something for everyone in grades 6-12. Students can choose from more than 100 self-paced courses in traditional subjects such as English, math, social studies and science and take electives in such subject areas as business, career and technical education, fine arts, and world languages,


As a not-for-profit institution, American School puts students’ educations first. Our tuition is affordable—much lower than many other distance education and online high schools—and all textbooks and study materials are included at no additional cost.  Monthly payment plans are available for students in full years of American School’s middle school or high school program.

Caring Student Service

When students are accepted at American School, they not only receive interesting curriculum at a reasonable cost from a pioneer in distance education; they also receive outstanding, caring student service.  Students may enroll anytime and work at their own pace.  Help is available from American School staff during business hours and around the clock in American School’s Online Student Center.


Founded in 1897, American School later became the first correspondence school to become regionally accredited. Today we are accredited by three reputable accrediting bodies and recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education as a non-public high school.  American School’s diploma is accepted by colleges and universities, and thousands of high schools use our courses for credit recovery.

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