US flag   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Study in the States

View Disclaimer



Use the Study in the States glossary to define key terms throughout the F and M student process in the United States. If you are a current or prospective student, select “students” to see terms that specifically relate to you—from visas, to forms, benefits, and more. School officials should select “schools” to find more information on certification, responsibilities, and how to help their F and M students. You can also sort terms by selecting the letter of the alphabet a term begins with.

Kindergarten to Grade 12

Educational levels students enroll in before advancing to higher education institutions. U.S. students usually begin a formal educational program around age five or six in kindergarten. Children then complete grade levels one through 12 before attending college or university. F and M students may enroll in a private program for any length of time but may only attend a public high school for one year.