Home Study in USA Education System

Education System

Quality

U.S. colleges are known worldwide for the quality of their facilities, resources, and faculty. Accreditation systems ensure that institutions continue to maintain these standards.

Choice

The U.S. education system features many types of institutions, academic and social environments, entry requirements, degree programs, and subjects in which you can specialize.

Value

A U.S. degree offers excellent value for the money. A wide range of tuition fees and living costs, plus some financial help from colleges, make study in the United States affordable for hundreds of thousands of international students each year.

Flexibility

U.S. universities and colleges offer flexibility in choice of courses, but more importantly there is also the option for students to move from institution to another. Completing the first two years of a degree at one institution, usually a community college, and then moving to another, is very common.

"One year in the U.S. opened a new world of opportunities, which enabled me to grow personally and professionally. I chose to study in the U.S. because of the enormous opportunities that are available for people seeking personal and professional growth."

If you are considering applying to a US college or university to further your education, you are looking to join almost 583,000 international students who are currently studying in the United States. Most of these students have chosen a US institution either because of its worldwide reputation for quality or because of a desire to broaden their life experiences. All of these students can benefit from a secret that is a key to succeeding in reaching their goals once enrolled in a US institution: what will make your education come alive and enable you to truly understand the United States has nothing to do with the prestige of your professors or the diversity of the students on campus. The Secret to getting the most out of your college experience is to GET INVOLVED.

International students who come to the United States may wonder about their American classmates' prior education. Due to its local variations, the American education system appears confusing. In addition, the structure and procedures at American universities differ somewhat from other systems, such as the British model.  This is a brief overview of the American school and university systems.

To begin, because the country has a federal system of government that has historically valued local governance, no country-level education system or curriculum exists in the United States. The federal government does not operate public schools. Each of the fifty states has its own Department of Education that sets guidelines for the schools of that state. Public schools also receive funding from the individual state, and also from local property taxes.  Public colleges and universities receive funding from the state in which they are located. Each state's legislative body decides how many tax dollars will be given to public colleges and universities.  Students in grades 1-12 do not pay tuition. College and university students do pay tuition, but many earn scholarships or receive loans.

Much of the control of American public schools lies in the hands of each local school district. Each school district is governed by a school board; a small committee of people elected by the local community or appointed by the local government. The school board sets general policies for the school district and insures that state guidelines are met.

Generally, school districts are divided into elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. Elementary schools are composed of students in kindergarten and grades 1-5. Most children attend kindergarten when they are five-years-old. Children begin 1st grade at age six. Middle school is composed of students in grades 6-8 and high school contains grades 9-12.

High school students are required to take a wide variety of courses in English, mathematics, science, and social science. They may also be required to take foreign language or physical education, and they may elect to take music, art, or theatre courses. Many high schools also offer vocational training courses.  A course can be one semester or two semesters in length.  The academic year generally begins in mid August and ends in early June.