A look into why students came to iUP and more!

Makenna Horne, Staff Writer

Whether you’ve been homeschooled all your life or you came to iUniversity Prep due to Covid-19, every student here has their own story and reasons for choosing iUniversity Prep over any other school. I asked some questions to a few of IUP’s students to get a deeper look into their stories! 


Why did you come to iUniversity Prep?


Many of the students interviewed said they came because of Covid, and iUP seemed to be a good fit due to the challenging classes and overall flexibility of the school. Although many brick & mortar schools offered a virtual option for the 2020-2021 school year, not all continued to offer it for the 2021-2022 school year. One student, Danny Hall, said his school favored the in-person students over the online ones so it was not a good fit. He decided to switch to iUP to stay online and got a much better learning experience! 


Considering other online/homeschool programs


With so many options for school, parents and students want to make sure to look into all the options available to pick the best fit! Many of the newer iUP students considered the virtual school options offered by their previous B&M schools. However, students such as Hayden said that since it was such short notice for switching to virtual learning, it was very rushed and not all the details were solid. Hayden stated, “I didn’t feel comfortable with starting middle school with that kind of environment.” Other schools considered were K-12, Texas Connections Academy, and Texas Tech K-12 Program. Amirah got accepted into the 8th-grade program at Texas Tech, but ultimately decided to attend iUP because “[Texas Tech] was more of a college online format and the teachers are better here [at iUniversity prep]”. Chloe Pittard said that the deciding factor was when she “heard about iUP and how it was the #1 [school] in Texas!” Danny Hall also considered K-12 but said it didn’t have enough classes or electives that would be a good fit for him. 


Deciding to stay


A few of the students I interviewed are returners. Brooke Bolinger is in 10th grade this year and she stayed “because of the wonderful teachers and flexible schedule. The environment is also so caring and positive here.” Hayden says, “I decided to stay because I love it here. The system and schedule really work best for my learning style, and I feel that I can put more effort into my assignments and do other things that really wouldn’t work in a brick-and-mortar school. I also feel I have more opportunities and time to work on things I like to do.” Evangeline Smith decided to stay for her first year of high school because she loves the freedom and flexibility that iUP provides! 


Missing brick and mortar school


Change can be hard! Switching schools, whether it is virtual, or in-person can be a major shift, so it is understandable if you miss a few things from your old school! Many students miss the social aspect that B&M schools offer. Brooke, for example, misses getting to see her friends face-to-face every day at school. Although not every day, iUP still offers some great face-to-face opportunities to meet your online school friends in person! This is A. Friesenhahn’s first year of middle school, so she misses recess. Kendall misses the feeling of walking through the halls. Although Chloe does miss seeing her friends’ faces every day, she says, “I have found so many ways to stay connected with people at iUP and I have found places within the community, like libraries, to go and do work when I need a change of scenery.” 


The benefits to iUP


iUniversity Prep is the #1 online school in Texas, and not only do state test scores and grades reflect that, but students here have also identified many other benefits. Many of the students interviewed, including Brooke, Danny, Kendall, Amirah, Hayden, Chloe, and Sreenidhi said that iUP has amazing teachers. Some even said they like the teachers better at iUP compared to other schools they’ve attended. Brooke said, “the teachers help me understand topics way better here.” Chloe says, “[iUniversity Prep has] the most amazing teachers ever. They are so devoted and caring about each one of their students!” “Hayden loves being able to work at her own pace, allowing her to spend less time doing school each week compared to B&M students. She says, “There was a lot of wasted time at brick-and-mortar school because you spend a lot of time there. All-day all week was school.” Hayden says that she likes “being able to just stop and work on something else.” The students also commented on the way the material is presented and taught. Sreenidhi said that “the lessons here are easy to understand.” Other benefits mentioned by students include increased independence, improved communication skills, and better time management. 


Staying to the end


Although not all students plan to attend iUniversity Prep until they graduate, whether that is because they want the “high school experience” or they miss their old friends, many plan to stay until their senior year so they can walk across the stage with Wisely by their side! High schoolers Brooke, Chloe, and Evangeline plan to stay at iUP for the remainder of their high school years. Chloe says, “I am thankful that when I want to have “high school experiences” like football games and dances and stuff, I can go to my friends’ old schools and join them!” Danny, Amirah, and Sreenidhi aren’t in high school yet, but they plan to stay until the end as well! Danny said this is because “The high school experience isn’t for me, and I have made more friends here than at in-person thanks to online chat groups. I don’t want to get lost in the maze that is a bunch of high school hallways.” Hayden, A. Friesenhahn, and Kendall are still deciding. Kendall says that she’s “taking in this amazing school one year at a time!” 


Favorite things


What is there to not love about being an owl at iUniversity Prep! I asked the students what their favorite part of iUP was, and although it is tough to make a decision, here’s what they had to say! Brooke loves the positive environment; Danny and Evangeline enjoy having a flexible schedule; A. Friesenhahn loves the challenge that iUP gives her, the fun subjects, and the clubs; Kendall loves the community of students and teachers and all the clubs the school has to offer; Shivaanshi’s favorite things are the teachers and how friendly the people are; Amirah says that her favorite thing is the format since it is easy to understand and work with; Hayden says she loves the different projects since iUP students get more time to plan and do something creative with; Sreenidhi loves the clubs because “They are so fun and you can learn things there too!” Chloe loves iUP so much she can’t decide her favorite part! She says, “[I love] everything. It is absolutely amazing; I couldn’t ask for a better school. I am a very social person, so I was nervous at first to join, but I have found so many ways to stay connected. I love being an owl!”




It is no surprise that iUniversity Prep is the best online school in Texas. From the amazing teachers to the diversity of clubs, it is truly impeccable. With hundreds of students that have attended iUP, everyone has their own story, and this was only a few of them! Why did you come to iUP?