This article will fulfill your expectations about Understanding American Education System.

American students have many options when it comes to educational opportunities. Students, American and international alike, have many options. Before you begin your search for the right institution, it is important to learn about the American education system.

Understanding the educational system will help you narrow down your options and create a plan for higher education. The United States has 12 years of primary and secondary school. These are the years from the first to 12th grades. They go to primary school for five to six year before going to secondary school. Continue reading to find out Understanding America’s Education System.

What is the U.S. Higher Education System Structure?

As an international student, you may be curious about how colleges and universities fit in the larger U.S. higher educational system. The United States requires that students attend school in grades 1-12.

Primary education should be completed by the fifth grade. Students in the sixth through eighth grades should attend middle school, while students in the ninth through 12th grades should go to secondary education. Secondary education may include college preparation and vocational training.

After 12th grade, students have two options for post-secondary education: vocational training or higher studies.

Understanding America’s Education System Various Types of Higher Education Institutions

  • University vs College

Universities is the name given to post-secondary institutions across many countries. The terms college and university are often used interchangeably in the United States. Some institutions are also called universities (e.g. California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology). There are many schools and colleges that offer different academic programs within larger institutions in the United States.

  • Private Colleges and State Colleges

Depending on your location, the best colleges and universities may be either public or run by the regional or state governments. The national government does not manage any college or institution in the United States. Instead, the 50 US states, the District of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have the power to manage, fund and administrate public schools and universities within their borders. For more information on Understanding America’s Education System, take a look at our website.

Private colleges are able to operate without the oversight of the national or state governments. Many private universities in the United States such as Dayton or the University of the Pacific were established by religious groups.


It is crucial to understand the American Education System. We must ensure that our children have equal opportunities to achieve their potential as individuals. This is the only way legislators can alter or improve laws. We have the power to ensure our children’s success in life.


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