Education in High School Versus College


Education is one of the most important issues in life. As soon as a person is born, parents start thinking about their future education options. In America, approximately 51 million students attend schools, and 21 million students visit colleges, meaning that about 22% of the US population is involved in numerous learning processes (National Center for Education Statistics, 2017). Some people consider that the forms of high school and college education are alike and do not believe in the necessity to attend colleges after high school. Still, many people recognize the differences between high schools and colleges. In fact, both groups of people are correct because these types have many similarities and differences. In this paper, the importance of high school and college education will be discussed through comparing and contrasting such factors as people, projects, tests, responsibilities, environments, and schedules.

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Education in high school and college is characterized by a number of similar features, including the presence of similar people in academic life, the nature of projects, and the importance of tests. Despite certain attempts to create a line between these two forms of education (Eger, 2017), it is wrong to neglect the fact that students have to deal with the same people who provide them with knowledge, support, and explanations. The presence of parents, friends, and educators is what never changes and create a helpful basis for multiple learning activities for students. People introduce a kind of root for successful and effective education in high school and college.

Another important similarity is the requirement to create projects. In both cases, students have to create various projects, meet standards and rubrics, and demonstrate how they can find a practical application to their theoretical knowledge. Projects help to recognize the progress of each student in high school and college. Though there are many distinctive characteristics of projects, their essence remains the same in all facilities – to check what a person can do, what sources can be used, and what skills have been developed. The evaluation of academic skills is the core of any project despite its actual place of presentation.

Finally, all students have to be ready to take tests. Though test scores in high school may demonstrate students’ readiness for colleges, and college grades have no connection to high school (Sheehy, 2013), the main goal of any test offered to a student helps to identify the level of knowledge and the ability to learn new material. Teachers spend much energy and time to provide students with new information, and tests serve as good and efficient tools to assess students. High school and college students demonstrate same worries, anxiety, and concerns, as well as intentions to get prepared for tests and learn as much as possible till a certain period of time.

In addition to a number of similarities of high school and college, a list of factors distinguishes these two forms of education through the prism of students’ responsibility, learning environments, and schedules’ peculiarities. Today’s American society cannot neglect the value of education (Mackey, 2013). However, high school and college students regard this value in different ways because of the level of responsibility they gain. In high schools, students rely on their parents’ and teachers’ instructions and suggestions, and in colleges, students take responsibility for everything they have to do or cannot do and deal with all consequences achieved.


The type of environment offered to students in high schools and colleges also varies. In schools, students should work under a teaching environment the goal of which is to gather facts and develop skills. Teachers perform the main roles because they define the style of education, identify what students can or cannot do, and provide the required list of sources. In colleges, students have to deal with a learning environment under which they have to think independently, make decisions, and consider their skills in regard to the tasks performed. When college students break the rules, they have to do everything possible to correct a situation. In high schools, students are guided by teachers and supported by parents not to make mistakes and achieve the best results.

The last difference between high school and college is based on schedules. Most of the classes for high school students are arranged by the system and teachers. There is a list of tasks and opportunities students get and have to follow despite their personal desire and readiness. In colleges, the situation is quite different because all schedules are developed by students themselves. They may use additional services of specialized advisors. Still, all schedules, classes, and choices are made by students. They think about what they are interested in. They inform the commission about their preferences and receive schedules depending on their own time.

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In general, the differences and similarities of high school and college education cannot be ignored. Students should be ready for different types of work and requirements, as well as consider personal expectations and interests. Education in high school and college is similar in terms of people, projects, and tests to promote confidence and guarantees for students, but it is necessary not to forget about such differences as the responsibility level, an academic environment, and schedule development to enjoy the benefits of both forms of education.


Eger, J.M. (2017). Blurring the lines between high school and college. Huffpost. Web.

Mackey, K.L. (2013). The value of education in today’s American society: A glimpse into the current way America supports the educational system. Web.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). Fast facts: Back to school statistics. Web.

Sheehy, K. (2013). Use all 4 years of high school to prep for college. U.S. News. Web.

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