The U.S. Education System
Children in the United States start preparing for school at the age of 3. Yesterday's children can finish school and become a rather respectable uncle with a PhD. You can start your child in kindergarten at 6 months of age and by the age of 3, your child can enter kindergarten. School starts at age 6, but all children under 12 can attend kindergarten after school - until 6 p.m.
Preschool in the United States is an optional step. It is also possible to prepare for school at home, primarily if the child meets general developmental requirements and is a strong reader. Kindergarten in the U.S. usually starts at age 3 to 5, but there are exceptions. The required steps then begin.
Elementary school: 8 classes for children ages 6 to 13
Secondary school: 9 to 12 grades. U.S. teens complete high school at age 17, earning the appropriate diploma.
High School: College and University. In the former, students usually study for 2 years to obtain a foundation level, and after 4 years in college, students graduate with a bachelor's degree.
Master's degree: After two more years of study at the university, during which a master's degree can be obtained.
Doctoral degree: after 3-6 years of additional studies (depending on personal data, national education system, academic performance and some other factors).
Those who succeed in doctoral studies, with a PhD, research papers and publications, can continue their studies and obtain the most prestigious degree in the USA - the postdoctoral level.
Types of schools in the United States
There are three main but only three types of schools in the United States: public, private, and charter schools.
Public schools are free for all children living in the United States. Children often go to one or another public school in the area where they live. Immigrant children have the same rights. Their status in the country is also not relevant to anyone. The educational process is based on strict adherence to educational standards.
Private schools are financed by tuition fundraising. The cost of education varies not only from state to state, but also from school to school. The educational process is more flexible than in public schools. Each private school has the right to introduce additional or even exclusive subjects along with the required subjects.
Charter schools are a mix of public and private schools. Charter schools have a more flexible educational process, just like private schools, but parents do not receive the cost of education like the state does. This type of school exists at the expense of the state or endowment. You can get into a charter school by lottery because there are many applicants, but few such schools.
How to Choose a School in the U.S.
International students enter private boarding schools in the United States that offer.
A program of study focused on getting into top universities
A wide range of athletic and extracurricular opportunities
Accommodations and meals in school dormitories on campus.
Modern equipment for classrooms, laboratories, and creative studios.
Classes with an average of 6 fewer students than public schools
ACT scores that are 3.1 points higher than public schools (National Center for Education Statistics, 2018).
You can start attending a U.S. school at age 10. When choosing a private school, you need to consider its educational program, location, facilities, test scores, and graduates' access to college.
What to look for when choosing a school in the U.S.
School ratings or grades. Even on real estate websites, the infrastructure descriptions always talk about schools and their ratings. So that people immediately choose housing that will meet the educational needs of their children.
SAT and ACT grade point averages. The higher the score, the better the chances of going to college after graduation.
Student-Teacher Ratio. The average ratio is 10:1 in private schools and twice that in public schools - depending on the age of the student.
Likelihood of receiving financial support. This paragraph applies to private schools. Often, such educational institutions will provide information about sponsors, alumni associations, charitable foundations, etc.
Religious affiliation of the school. About half of all private schools are religious schools. Note this. Often, religious schools are cheaper because most of the tuition is transferred by the church.
Gender composition of the student body. It is common in the United States to have separate schools for men and women.
The number of classes in the school.
What are the admission requirements for U.S. schools
The U.S. education system is designed in such a way that each state and school can enroll students according to its own principles. However, there are general rules about how to get into American schools.
Passing the TOEFL English test.
Providing excerpts of certificates.
Interviewing a school representative.
Some schools also require you to write a cover letter, take the SAT or submit a portfolio of creative work.
Top U.S. schools and their prices
Fay School is a private school near Boston. Students here are 12-14 years old. The curriculum includes mandatory subjects: English writing, speaking and reading. A center for creative development is located on the territory of the school. Here children create design projects, install videos and learn programming together with their teachers. Fay School organizes creative and sports circles and departments. Schoolchildren learn to use ceramics, play musical instruments, participate in soccer, field hockey, tennis. The price for a school year is $24,000.
Lake Forest Academy is located one hour from Chicago. Schoolchildren are enrolled from the age of 14. The institution's foreign students - 26%. Lake Forest College offers students a hundred courses to choose from, among which there are narrow fields: biochemistry, art, various types of law. The institution has 60 extracurricular associations: drama, music, sports, cooking. The children live on the campus in separate buildings for boys and girls. The cost of the academic year starts at $59,000.
CATS Academy Boston is an international school in Boston. Students are accepted from the age of 14. The institution's program is a combination of American and British. The school has foreign students - almost half of them. In addition to basic subjects, CATS Academy Boston offers other courses: statistics, Chinese and Spanish, world history. At the school it is possible to study under special business courses, which have a great advantage when entering the university. The cost of the academic year is $36,500.
English Stone. Johnsbury Academy is one of the oldest private schools in the United States, located in Vermont. It accepts children from the age of 14. Here, a high level of academic education: every year, students win first place in the national Olympic competitions, and graduates are accepted to the most prestigious universities in the United States. Educational programs in Johnsbury College - 200: technology, engineering, creativity, foreign languages. Prices start from $17,200 per year.
American College Preparatory School of Los Angeles is a private school in Los Angeles. Students here are aged 15-19. The main subjects of the school: mathematics, arts, natural and engineering sciences, business. For success in college, advanced courses are organized: foreign languages, history, psychology, programming. In their free time, children enjoy dancing, playing basketball and design. The cost of a school year is $47,000 and up.
Hotchkiss School is a private educational institution in Lakeville, Connecticut. Students begin school at the age of 15. Each Hotchkiss School student is assigned a curator to help them adjust and choose the right program from among 240 programs. Popular school areas: art, chemistry, math. Extracurricular activities are mainly represented by different sports: diving, golf, lacrosse. School for foreigners - 13%, 100% of graduates enter selected universities. The price for this year is $63,300.
Pine Crest is a private school in Miami. It accepts children from the age of 4. The institution's curriculum focuses on the physical, creative and moral development of students. Most of the school's graduates go on to majors related to art, film and design. Students can work at Pine Crest Film Studios and print publications. The annual fee is $21,100.
Brattleboro Union High School is a public school in Vermont. Foreigners are enrolled here starting at age 15. Each student's educational process is controlled by an individual curator. Children can choose from basic courses or courses related to modern creativity: design, advertising. Brattleboro Union High School is exclusively for international students. The cost for an academic year is $36,000.
St. Andrew's School in Florida enrolls students ages 15 and up. There are 24 in-depth learning programs available for children. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean helps the school's aquatics program grow. The institution has a science, art and design center. The cost is $56,000 per year.
Antelope Valley Public Schools is a public school in Los Angeles. In the institution, you can master only the basic courses or choose several additional courses. Foreign students are accepted from the age of 14. Extracurricular activities are represented by karate, math, animation and design clubs. The cost for an academic year is $24,000 or more.