Difference Between Highschool and College (With Table)

Education is the most crucial aspect of a person’s life. There are different phases of receiving education. The two categories of educational institutions are high school and college. These expressions are often used in the United States and American English, however, the notion is the same in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Highschool vs College

The difference between highschool and college is that high school is compulsory. It’s also completely free. If a student is at college then it implies that the student has chosen to pursue higher studies to enhance their education. Students also have to pay for all the expenses from the tuition fees to buying their textbooks and their living expenses too.

In most educational systems in the United States, high school refers to any three to six-year secondary school that serves students aged 13 (or 14 or 15) to 18. Freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior are commonly used in ascending order at four-year schools to identify the various levels of school.

A college is a higher education institution that grants students a degree. Students anticipate continuing their education at college after graduating from high school. College is a setting where students may choose from a variety of courses. College is not mandatory to pursue and it is a paid education system.

Comparison Table Between Highschool and College

Parameters of ComparisonHighschoolCollege
Class sizeLess strength of students.The strength of students depends on the college.
Study period30 hours a week.12 to 16 hours per week.
Testing systemFrequent tests.Fewer tests.
Graduating criteriaCan graduate as long as students attend all the classes and pass all compulsory courses.Students’ grades must fulfill the set criteria.
ExpensesExpenses are low.Expenses are high.

What is Highschool?

A high school is a secondary school where kids receive their education before beginning college or working. From ninth to twelfth grade, most high schools have four numbered grades. High school is the next step after middle school or junior high. The name originated in Scotland, where the Royal High School is located, the world’s oldest high school. It opened in 1505 and served as a model for the United States’ first public high school in 1821.

In some countries, kids enter high school at the age of eleven, whereas in the United States, high school begins at the age of fourteen. The comprehensive high school is the most prevalent kind, with a program that incorporates both basic academic track and customized track-oriented towards commercial, trade, or technical subjects. 

The majority of high schools in the United States are public, which means that they are tuition-free and subsidized by the government. However, there are a handful of private high schools around the country that are funded in part by tuition and in part by private grants or endowments. The majority of these institutions cater to college-bound pupils and are often sectarian.

High school is important for a multitude of reasons, but most importantly, it is the last low-stakes period in a person’s life during which they may study, explore, and even indulge in a range of courses and hobbies before entering the real world or deciding which one to pursue a long term.

What is College?

A college is a type of higher education institution in which the students can get a degree and specialized professional training. Students might use a college to help them develop their abilities and become skilled. The institution serves as a link between a student’s passions and his or her chosen professional path. A student can derive a variety of factors about the sector and, as a result, prepare for the next job obstacles.

A college education aids in the development of technical, creative, and critical thinking abilities. Second, the institution is crucial in preparing students for careers in the business. In college, professors may deviate from the textbook. Instead, they may add visuals, background information, or highlight research on the topic they are teaching to supplement the text.

They may also ask the students to make connections between what happens in class and the textbook readings. Testing is normally done infrequently and might be cumulative, encompassing a huge quantity of information. To prepare for the test the students are required to organize the material. In a semester, a course may only have two or three tests. The grading system in college is slightly different than that of any institute. The majority of the course grade is generally determined by test and main paper grades.

Main Differences Between Highschool and College

  1. In high school, courses typically include no more than 35 people and are taught by teachers, however in college, classes can vary greatly in size from twenty to hundreds of students, depending upon the type of college the student chooses. Professors are in charge of teaching the classes.
  2. In high school, the class time is usually six hours a day totaling up to 30 hours a week whereas in college the class hours are usually between 12 to 16 hours per week which also includes breaks.
  3. Testing is common in high school and covers a minimal amount of content. Teachers routinely offer review sessions, highlighting the most significant topics, but testing in college is uncommon and might even cover a tremendous amount of content.
  4. In high school, the students can graduate with a D or higher, the only condition is to complete all needed classes and the students must pass all compulsory courses but in college, the students can only graduate if their class average satisfies the departmental level, which is normally a 2.0 or C.
  5. In high school, all the expenses of the students are covered and textbooks are usually of lower prices and in some cases are also covered under the expenses whereas in the college the student has to take care of all the expenses.


High school is one of the most crucial and formative years of a person’s life, and it has the potential to shape adolescents’ future jobs and adult lives. A college education is important for having a stable livelihood as in the professional industry the higher education holders are being provided with higher financial earning.

Students have the liberty and advantage of trying an activity or a subject in high school and decide if it is for them or not but, once a student is studying in a college or is pursuing a professional job, determining the topic or industry is no longer of interest has more serious implications.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00098655.1969.11478372?journalCode=vtch20
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/009155210102900302?journalCode=crwa
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