The American education system includes different levels: elementary, secondary and post-secondary education. Under the US Department of Education, each state provides universal, free elementary and secondary schooling for 12 years.
American Education School Types: Elementary: Elementary school generally covers grades 1 through 5, and students then go straight into the secondary system. Most students begin grade 1 at age 5.
Secondary: Secondary school--usually called high school--typically includes grades 6 through 12. Secondary education in the US may be divided into middle school (grades 6/7/8) or junior high schools (grades7/8/9) and then high school (grades 9 through 12).
Post-secondary: Post-secondary education refers to anything after high school and includes career college (also known as vocational school), community college, university and graduate school.
Language programs: Language programs (English as a second language or ESL) are offered at different levels and at different school types, including middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities and private language schools.
Public and private: The American education system includes free, government-funded public schools, as well as private schools, for which students have to pay. At the post-secondary level, public universities and colleges (also known as state colleges) still require students to pay tuition, but state college tuition is substantially less than private university and college tuition.
Religious and secular: Many schools in the US offer faith-based education. The most common religious affiliations for schools in the US are Catholic, Christian (protestant) and Jewish, but others may also be available in certain regions. On the other hand, many US schools are completely secular and have no faith-affiliation at all.
Use this section of the site to learn more on these and other school types that are part of the American education system.
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