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A college-preparatory school (usually shortened to preparatory school or prep school) is a type of
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (ages 11 to 14) and upper secondary educat ...
. The term refers to
public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth Engli ...
, private independent or
parochial Parochial is an adjective which may refer to: * Parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a pr ...
schools primarily designed to prepare students for
higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion ...
.


North America


United States

In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, there are
public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth Engli ...
,
private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two decades from the charts. Both "In Pri ...
, and
charter A charter is the grant of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social scien ...
college preparatory schools that can be either
parochial Parochial is an adjective which may refer to: * Parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a pr ...
or
secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through t ...

secular
. Admission is sometimes based on specific selection criteria, usually academic, but some schools have open enrollment. In 2017, 5.7 million students were enrolled in US private elementary or secondary schools, constituting 10% of total school enrolment. Of those, 1.4 million students were enrolled in a secular (nonsectarian) school. Public and charter college preparatory schools are typically connected to a local
school district A school district is a special-purpose district that operates local public Primary school, primary and Secondary school, secondary schools in various nations. North America United States In the U.S, most K–12 public schools function as uni ...
and draw from the entire district instead of the closest
school zone Image:SchoolZone-SpeedLimitSignAndLight.JPG, A speed limit sign entering a school zone, along with a warning light above, in Calabasas, California A school zone refers to an area on a street near a school or near a crosswalk leading to a school th ...
. Some offer specialized courses or
curricula In education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelli ...
that prepare students for a specific field of study. In contrast, others use the label as a promotional tool without offering programs different from a conventional high school. Preparatory schools, such as the
Western Reserve Academy Western Reserve Academy (WRA), or simply Reserve, is a private, midsized, coeducational Mixed-sex education, also known as mixed-gender education, co-education, or coeducation (abbreviated to co-ed or coed), is a system of education ...
, began before the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
, when there were no public schools above the grammar school or elementary level anywhere in the U.S. Their graduates were not ready for college study, so many colleges set up "preparatory academies" to prepare them for college study. The preparatory division could dwarf the college enrollment, as at
New York Central College New-York Central College, commonly called New-York Central College, McGrawville, and simply Central College, was an Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist institution of higher learning founded by Cyrus Pitt Grosvenor and other anti-slave ...
. There were also preparatory schools unaffiliated with colleges, especially for girls, such as the Columbia Female Academy. At the time, men and women did not study together at any level, and there were no women's colleges. Some of the female preparatory schools became women's colleges after the Civil War. Free high school level education for all became available in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. Since then, the surviving "prep schools" in the U.S. are primarily private, elite institutions that have very
selective Selective may refer to: * Selective school, a school that admits students on the basis of some sort of selection criteria ** Selective school (New South Wales) Selective strength: the human body transitions between being weak and strong. This rang ...
admission criteria and high tuition fees, catering to students in the 13–18 age range. Little financial aid other than loans is available. Prep schools can be
day school A day school—as opposed to a boarding school—is an educational institution where children and adolescents are given instruction during the day, after which the students return to their homes. A day school has full-day programs (when compared t ...
s, boarding schools, or both, and may be
co-educational Mixed-sex education, also known as mixed-gender education, co-education, or coeducation (abbreviated to co-ed or coed), is a system of education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, ski ...
or single-sex. Currently, day schools are more common than boarding, and since the 1970s, co-educational schools have been more common than single-sex. Unlike the public schools which are free, they charge tuition ($10,000 to 40,000+ a year in 2014). Some prep schools are affiliated with a particular religious denomination. Unlike parochial (Catholic) schools, independent preparatory schools are not governed by a religious organization, and students are usually not required to receive instruction in one particular religion. While independent prep schools in the United States are not subject to government oversight or regulation, many are
accredited Accreditation is a third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body (such as certification body, inspection body or laboratory) conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks (such a ...
by one of the six regional accreditation agencies for educational institutions.


Asia


Japan

In Japan, college-prep schools are called , which means a school used to progress into another school. Prep schools in Japan are usually considered prestigious and are often difficult to get into. However, there are many tiers of prep schools, the entry into which depends on the university that the school leads into.William K. Cummings, ''Education and equality in Japan'' (Princeton University Press, 2014). Japanese prep schools started as , secondary schools for boys, which were founded after the secondary school law in 1886. Later, , secondary school for girls (1891), and , vocational schools (1924), were included among and were legally regarded as schools on the same level as a school for boys. However, graduates from those two types of schools had more requirements for college entrance. In the modern period, many Japanese secondary schools were five-year schools except for during a short term from 1943 to 1946. The social status of , or , secondary schools for boys under the old system, did not disappear even after the new system (6-3-3) took effect in 1947. Plenty of are six-year schools in modern times, and many of them have their origins in and , or ones attached to universities. Japanese pupils who aspire to a prep school education take written examinations in sixth grade in each prep school. Unlike six-year prep schools, the top municipal senior high school (three-year schools) in each school zone and some high-ranked private senior high schools (ditto) are also regarded as . In the 21st century, some trial cases connecting public junior and senior high schools are seen in each region, too, broadening the education for college entrance. As the Japanese government provides grant-in-aid to private schools, the tuition is 5,000–10,000 US dollars per year, even if it is a private school.


See also

*
International Baccalaureate The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is a nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit insti ...
*
Advanced Placement Advanced Placement (AP) is a program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board The College Board is an American nonprofit organization that was formed in December 1899 as the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) to e ...


References


Further reading

* Adam Hochschild, ''Finding the Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits, Travels'' (Syracuse University Press, 1997), "World on a Hilltop," pp. 123–139.


External links


The Independent Schools Directory (Global)

National Association of Independent Schools

Independent Schools Association of the Southwest

Canadian Association of Independent Schools

The Association of Boarding Schools
{{DEFAULTSORT:University-Preparatory School High schools and secondary schools School types *