Library Columns Samantha Gambill

Get Your High School Diploma for Free!

Samantha Gambill
by Samantha Gambill

I come with wonderful news for those older students looking to earn a high school diploma. Career Online High School (COHS) is an accredited online private high school diploma and career certification available through some libraries in Florida, and the DeSoto County branch of your library cooperative is one of them. They received a limited number of scholarships for COHS through the Florida Division of Libraries. DeSoto is offering these scholarships to qualified adult learners desiring to better their prospects by advancing their careers, making preparations to join the workforce, or continuing their education.

Scholarships are valued at $2000 and are open to adults nineteen and older who don’t have a high school diploma. Applicants must have attended the ninth grade and possess a library card in good standing. They will need to complete an online self-assessment, a prerequisite course, and an in-person interview at the DeSoto County Library.

cohs 2After prospective students finish the self-assessment, they will be contacted by the DeSoto library within five business days to discuss the two-week prerequisite course. After completing the prerequisite course, applicants will then be contacted to schedule an in-person interview.
After completing the prerequisite course and enrolling in the program, students must request that transcripts from accredited high school(s) they have attended be sent to the COHS Office of the Registrar so that COHS can determine whether they will receive credit for previously completed coursework. Students are given eighteen months to complete the program, but can receive their diplomas in as little as five months depending on accepted previous coursework.

Students of COHS earn both a private high school diploma and a certificate in one of eight career areas, including office management, homeland security, customer service, and child care. They receive training to complete essential documents such as their resume and cover letter. Students will also receive personal academic coaching during the program and can ask about meeting college admissions requirements when finished.

cohs 1Successful applicants for this session can expect to start online classes this summer.
If you know someone in need, please spread the word. This is a wonderful opportunity, and all prospective students need to get started is a library card in good standing. If you have any questions you can visit the FAQs page on the COHS website ( ), or email