EducationUSA is a global network of more than 450 advising centers supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
EducationUSA centers actively promote United States higher education around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive and current information about the full range of higher education opportunities in the United States. EducationUSA advisers provide guidance to qualified individuals on how best to access those opportunities.
Visit the EducationUSA Advising Center in Taiwan to find information on: Research Your Options, Complete Your Application, Finance Your Studies, Apply for Your Student Visa, and Prepare for Your Departure.
U.S. Education System Introduction
Elementary and Secondary Education
In the United States, children generally begin elementary school with kindergarten (K) at age five and continue through secondary school to age 18. Secondary schools (known as high schools in the United States) generally encompass grades 9 through 12. School attendance is compulsory for students through age 16 in most states.
A remarkable characteristic of American education is its decentralization. K-12 schools in the U.S. remain mostly a state and local responsibility. The U.S. does not operate a national education system, with only a few exceptions, such as the Native American schools. Public educational institutions receive the bulk of their funding from local property taxes. Local boards of education, most of which are elected, administer the nation’s nearly 13,900 school districts, ranging from small rural schools in some areas to large urban school districts, many of which educate more than a million children annually.
The United States is different from many countries of the world in that it does not have a national system of post-secondary, or “higher” education. U.S. states have the power to license institutions, but they neither accredit nor guarantee the quality of these schools. Instead, the system of accreditation in the United States is operated by private, nonprofit organizations. The institution or program that you choose should be accredited by an accrediting agency or state approval agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a “reliable authority as to the quality of postsecondary education” within the meaning of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and its amendments.
For information about accredited higher education institutions and programs, you can check the following U.S. Department of Education website: https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/
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