Understanding the American Education System

International students have a myriad of choices when it comes to the American education system.

As you commence your school search, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with how the system work. This will help you narrow down to the best choices and develop an ideal education plan.

Primary and Secondary School

Most American students begin their education in kindergarten or first grade and end with a high school diploma. From there, they may move on to a two-year or four-year college or university. Others pursue vocational training at technical institutes, community colleges, the military, industry, private companies or abroad. Like many other systems around the world, America’s educational structure is decentralized and fragmented. There is no national system in the United States; education policies are set by individual states.

Kindergarten through 12th Grade: Primary and Secondary Education

In the U.S., schools for primary and secondary students—from kindergarten through 12th grade—are generally operated by the local government, school district or public institutions within a state. The education provided is free and public; however, to ensure quality standards and greater services for different groups of students, schools are often funded through tuition and private donations.

Most primary and secondary schools are based on a four-day cycle that includes three days of classes and one day for students to go to their designated after-school activity. Students are typically free every other Friday afternoon.

There are a handful of American —usually the largest and/or wealthiest—that provide education from kindergarten through 12th grade. Other, more common forms of primary and secondary education in America include:


State-funded schools that may charge fees or have certain costs covered by private programs run by individual school districts or independent foundations or organizations. Public schools do not accept students based on academic performance; generally, children can attend a public school regardless of their family income level as long as there is space available and they meet age requirements.


Mostly faith-based schools, such as Catholic and Protestant institutions, that charge tuition. These schools are not permitted to discriminate based on religion or family income level, but some can choose their own students by requiring that they be members of the faith; in this case, religious affiliation does play a role in admission decisions. Private schools may also help students with tuition costs through grants and scholarships.


These are state-funded public institutions that operate independently from local school boards, usually with more flexibility than traditional public schools to experiment with alternative teaching strategies and curriculum. They have been popular among families who want an education for their children similar to what they experienced abroad or those hoping to avoid the crowded public system.

Charter Schools work under contract with the government body funding them: charter contracts can last for one year (renewable) or five years (non-renewable). After that, the school either needs to renew its charter or revert back to a regular public school.


Operated by the United States Department of Defense (DOD), these schools offer primary and secondary education for military personnel and their dependents (mostly in overseas locations) as well as college-level courses for active duty and reserves on bases at home. There are more than 11,000 DOD schools worldwide with over 2 million students; one quarter of them are children between ages 3–12.

Postsecondary Education

Characteristics of US education system
For most high school graduates in America, postsecondary education begins with two years at community colleges and vocational institutes.

From there, they can transfer to four-year and two-year colleges, where the bulk of their instruction is expected to be liberal arts classes.

While a few students choose to attend vocational schools or trade schools after high school, more than 90 percent enroll in higher education before turning 22.

Grading Systems In The United States of America

As early as kindergarten, American students begin using a grading system that is almost universally applied across schools. It uses the following letter grades for both subjective and objective assessments:

A (excellent): An A grade is given to the top 20 percent of students in the class. In some states, like California, it can be used interchangeably with a B+. Even if two students earn an A on their report card at different times during the semester, they are still considered top performers. Some private schools do not use this grade; instead offering Honors (H) or High Honors (HH). Also known as 90th percentile scores on standardized tests or Advanced Placement/College Board Level 4 on AP exams.

B (Good): A B grade is given to the next 20 percent of students in class performance, and some states allow students to use it interchangeably with an A-. In most cases, two Bs are equivalent to an A or two as are equivalent to an A+. Some private schools do not use this grade; instead offering Honors (H) or High Honors (HH). Also known as 80th percentile scores on standardized tests or Advanced Placement/College Board Level 3 on AP exams.

C (Average): Many parents hope that their children will receive grades of C because they are typically easier to improve quickly than Ds. However, some parents see Cs as average and do not want their students to receive them. Students in the bottom 20 percent of the class usually earn a C grade.

D (Below average): A D grade is given to students who have scored below most others in their class at the end of a grading period. In many cases it is considered an F by colleges in college admissions applications because grades for six semester periods are averaged together for each student.

F (Failure): If a student receives an F for the first time, in most cases it means that they are retaking a class during summer school to receive a passing grade. If they fail again, they may be retained by administrators until they pass that particular course at their own pace. After that, Fs can result in failing grades either because of poor attendance and low test scores or due to cheating and unruly behavior in class. Any students who repeatedly receive Fs will likely be asked to leave the school because they are considered a disruption to fellow students and teachers.

Online High School Courses

While most high school graduates enroll in a community college or four-year university upon graduation, some students choose to enroll in an online high school program. They are often used by teens who struggle with traditional classes, need to graduate early for job opportunities or family relocation purposes and want to either complete their education on time or take extra classes while they are finishing up. Online programs also appeal to many parents who have children with learning disabilities and cannot afford private tutors but can give them advanced placement at home without disrupting the rest of the household.

Students must meet all state requirements for graduation, including credits earned from courses taken both online and in person.

Some states require that students actually attend a brick-and-mortar school at one time in order to receive a diploma, and all programs should make those stipulations known so that no one is surprised later on.

Online high school classes are often streamed live. Alternatively, these classes can be packed in videos available for future reference.

High School of America’s Online Courses

Are you looking for a top-quality online high school program to help your child get into the college of his/her dreams? No matter what your student’s educational needs and goals are, High School of America has online programs that can fit them just right.

We give students across the world a chance to graduate with a High School diploma online and other services such as credit evaluation, enrollment assistance, preparation for standardized tests and college admission counseling.

Our programs allow students to link up with tutors, counselors and other specialists via instant messaging sessions so that they do not need to interrupt their learning experience while seeking help.

Online high school diplomas are given to students who have completed coursework for two full years of credits and passed standardized exams.

Our Online High School Programs for International Students
US education system for international students
Perhaps you have achieved the majority of credits needed towards college entrance and now needs some final preparation before entering university. Or perhaps your student is not doing well at his/her current high school and feels ready to move on to something new and faster-paced. Our online high schools can help in a number of ways:

The fastest way to prepare for college admissions exams

Many of our top options include practice SATs, ACTs, AP tests, and more in every course. We can easily help your child review the material he or she will need to learn for college exams. These practice exams are a great way of preparing for entrance exams before actually taking them!

Degree-credit courses

If you’re worried about not being able to transfer your international student’s online high school credits overseas, don’t be; our programs all offer degree credit options. This means that your student can continue on with his/her education abroad by picking up exactly where he/she left off at our online high school program!

A caring and professional learning community

Our teachers understand what it feels like to be an international student in America. As such, they work hard to adapt their teaching methods according to each individual’s learning style. That way, all students can receive the education and support they need.

Help for every student

We have teachers on-hand who are ready to help you with any questions you might have about our online high school programs! They’ll be able to walk you through the signup process, helping you set up your payment plan (which can be tailored to suit your needs) and providing assistance throughout each lesson.

100% money back guarantee!

We’re so confident that our online high school programs will give your child a top-quality learning experience that we offer a full refund if he or she is not satisfied within 30 days of signing up. All it takes is one email from either parent or the student himself/herself. If your son or daughter isn’t happy with the program, simply contact us and we’ll refund 100 percent of your money.

No application fees!

Unlike other companies who charge high application fees for their online high school programs, we have none whatsoever. We want to make sure our international students are accepted–not rejected–into the best schools in America! And that’s why we do not ask them for any non-refundable fees at all.

Affordable payment plans

We understand that many families cannot afford a $5,000 tuition fee in one go and must pay it over a few months instead. That is totally fine with us; we offer affordable payment plans for our online high schools so that everyone can enroll without a problem.

Personalized learning programs

Creating a personalized learning program for each student allows us to provide him or her with an education tailored especially for them. We have trained our teachers and tutors to be able to reach any child no matter what their location, level of English ability, age group or educational goals are.

A huge range of support services

Alongside our online high school courses and tuition payments, we offer several other support services: regular progress checks from teachers and access to special educational software; a personal computer would certainly help, but not a requirement. Best of all: You can use the services as long as you like and for as many classes as you need!

A consultation prior to enrollment

We encourage students (and their parents) to contact us prior to enrolling in any of our online high school programs so that we can give them an overview of what the course will be like. This way, you’ll be able to see if it is a good fit for your child; there’s no harm done, after all!

Full support with college applications

If you’re worried about how your international student will handle a university admissions test such as the SAT or ACT, don’t be–our expert tutors are here to help him/her practice! We can also help your son or daughter prepare for college interviews and other important applications, so that he/she has the best possible chances of getting accepted into a top American university.

And when you choose to enroll in one of our online high schools, here’s what you get:

  • An expertly-crafted course for international students who want to attend an American school. Our website is organized with this goal in mind: Your son or daughter will be able to find all the information they need about our programs quickly and easily on their own–no waiting around for teachers (or parents) to explain anything. The site will give them all the tools they need to succeed at their new classes!
  • A chance to enroll in high school courses that are similar in content and format to what your child would get if he or she were attending an American school. Whether it’s English, history, mathematics or science, we’ll work to make sure our online high school courses give your son or daughter a solid foundation on which they can build in the future–and that will pay off when they go through university applications!

Our Online Courses for Local and International Students

U.S. Homeschool Curriculum for students across the world
Once you’ve decided to choose us for your online high school needs, there is still one important decision left:   Which course should my son or daughter take? To help them out with their educational goals, we offer several different kinds of classes:

Standard Academic Courses.

These include English, history, mathematics and science classes–all needed by any student who wants to succeed in American high school! Our teachers have worked hard to create a customizable curriculum that meets the needs of our students. If you need help choosing between one of these four courses, though, we can offer you support–just contact us with your concerns.

SAT Prep Courses

One of the college admissions tests most commonly taken by international students is the SAT: It determines whether or not he or she will get into their top choice university for sure. We understand how important it is for young people everywhere to do well on this test; thus, we’ve created an online high school program dedicated solely to preparing students for the SAT as soon as they enroll!

Essay Writing Courses. The college admissions process is a lot more than just tests, you know:   Your son or daughter will need to send along an essay (or two) as well as letters of recommendation and other important documents when applying to universities. Our online high school for international students teaches them how to write all the essays they need–and do it in the best way possible!


Interested in starting your studies with us? It’s easy –simply follow these three steps:

  1. Create an account on our secure website. Once we’ve created an account for you, we’ll send you a confirmation email that will have all the information you need; just click the link inside, and you’ll be given access to a student dashboard that will let you track your progress.
  2. Choose your courses! We offer different online high school course options for every one of our majors; review these carefully , so that you can make sure the classes are the right fit for your child’s college plans .
  3. Enroll! Our online high school program is designed to allow students to begin as soon as they like–so long as they finish by the time they graduate from their local American high school, enrollment in our programs should be no problem at all.

When you enroll, we will have two teachers assigned to help out with any questions or problems he or she may encounter while taking classes.

Guidance through the Process

Our academic advisers are specially trained to help you through the process of getting your online high school diploma. They will answer any questions you may have about our program (or the educational system in general) and even connect with local American high schools if he or she needs to take classes there as well!

These advisors serve an important purpose, as they are available at all hours to make sure your son or daughter does well on their courses–and always gets good grades to show for it. Should your child need extra guidance and support, we offer optional tutoring sessions for every course we offer; this way, your son or daughter can get everything done without having to worry about scheduling conflicts!


Whether you live in a big city like New York or San Francisco, or a small town like Lufkin or Collinsville, our online high school is accessible to all students around the world.  Just sign up for an account, and then start your courses as soon as possible!

Online High School Cost

The cost of our online high school programs vary depending on your location–but it doesn’t change much from country to country. Why? This is because we only charge based on the number of students enrolled: We are not interested in making money off individuals; rather, we want to see you get quality education without breaking the bank. For that reason, though we have many different pricing options available worldwide, every course offered by our online high school is priced fairly and reasonably!

A Closer Look at Our Tuition Plans

We have accommodating payment options that can meet most budgets. Here is a more detailed list of our tuition plans and what each of those entails.

  • Full Pay
    • This plan costs $1599.
    • You would pay full balance now.
    • There are no monthly payments or fees.
    • This plan offers the biggest savings.
    • Savings of $700 off total cost of tuition.
  • Auto Pay
    • This plan costs $2199
    • You would set up auto draft monthly payment.
    • Has available low initial payments.
    • Savings are offered for the automated payments.
    • Savings of $100 off total cost of tuition.
  • Bill Pay
    • This plan costs $2299.
    • Will make monthly payment.
    • Can Pay by mail, phone, or online.
    • Has available low initial payments.
    • Has no added savings.

Check out our tuition calculator today!

“Here at High School of America, we try to offer competitive rates as well as flexible payment solutions for your tuition costs.”

Teaching Facilities

Because we are a private institution that does not have to answer to any government or higher body, we can do things the way we like. This means that our online high school classes are taught using the most modern and effective teaching techniques available. After all, how can your child possibly get quality education if he or she isn’t studying with state-of-the-art equipment?

It would be impossible–and that’s why every single class has been equipped with top of the line computers so your son or daughter can study whenever they’d like. Finally, even though you will be taking courses in a virtual classroom, we don’t skimp on safety: After all, we would never want any of our students to be harmed or put in danger while they pursue their education. This is why all of our teaching facilities are equipped with the most advanced security systems available today.

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