There are two parts to the American education system. Elementary schools and secondary schools. Elementary education is compulsory and is provided through public schools, state-certified private schools, or approved home school programs. Schools are generally divided into three levels, elementary, middle/junior high, and high school, according to age. The final stage of high school is called twelfth grade. The educational system of America is made up of many different components.
Higher education in the United States is provided by four-year universities, community colleges, and junior colleges. The latter are primarily open to the public and typically require a high school diploma or an equivalent. The tuition fees at community colleges are much lower than those of traditional universities. Community colleges are also important social mobility vehicles in the United States. Many older adults choose community colleges to upgrade their skills. While community colleges are not considered to be as formal as universities, they are still important vehicles for social mobility.
The federal government has many responsibilities in education. Depending on where you live, a federal agency may fund education programs. The National Science Foundation, for example, funds numerous science-related education programs. Additionally, the U.S. government has two houses that are responsible for enacting education legislation. Most private schools are nonprofit and operate independently of the government. Private schools are also subject to voluntary regional accreditation authorities.