The study in USA is the #1 host country for international students, with 2020 recording approximately 1,075,496 students enrolled in various academic programs. But, while the country is the top choice for pursuing degree courses after completing 12th grade, numerous students wish to begin their journey somewhat earlier.
After completing 10th grade, you can shift to the USA for your senior high school years. And you’re not alone in this decision! A joint study by the Institute of International Education and AIFS Foundation claims around 68% of F-1 visa holders and 32% of J-1 visa holders were enrolled in high schools in the USA in 2019.
While the complicated visa process has reduced the number of students who wish to study in USA after 10th grade, those planning to pursue long-term courses in the USA opt for this option to smoothen the transition.
Why Should You Study in the USA after 10th Grade?
According to most students abroad study for a few years, it’s easier to familiarise yourself with a new environment in high school than in university. The academic pressure is significantly lesser in 11th and 12th grade than what you’d have to encounter in college. So, if you’re planning to remain in the USA long-term to complete your graduation, post-graduation and doctorate, it’s always better to quickly get over the culture shock.
Additionally, the education system in the USA is flexible compared to other countries. For example, in India, you don’t have much freedom to choose your preferred subject combinations in 11th grade. Meanwhile, high schools in the USA provide various options for AP courses which will help you earn college credits.
How to Choose the Best High School to Study in the USA after 10th Grade?
When planning to study in the USA after 10th grade, you can opt for a public school or a private institution. Public schools are funded by taxpayers in the USA and offer a diverse population, numerous extracurricular activities, and affordable tuition fees. However, they are also burdened with overcrowded classrooms, inadequate funding, and rampant bullying.
Meanwhile, the tuition fees at private schools are more expensive. But these schools promise better facilities and an excellent teacher-student ratio. Research also suggests that students from private schools score better grades in standardised tests.
To make it easier for you to choose the right high school, you must consider the following factors:
- Academic programs available
- Tuition fees
- Student-teacher ratio
- Student diversity
- Student support faculty
- College acceptance rates
- Available resources
- Availability of extracurricular activities
- Presence of international student programs
Many schools have specialised cells to ease students’ transition into college. They help with GMAT exam online registration, assist with college applications and provide career counselling. So, consider all factors when applying to high schools in the USA.
- Popular high school choices for international students
- Groton Private School
- The Winchendon Private School
- The Thacher School
- Taft Private School
- The North Cedar Academy
- San Domenico Private School San Francisco
- St. Paul’s School
- Phillips Academy
- The Lawrenceville School
- Cheshire Academy Boarding School
How Can You Apply to High Schools in the USA?
If you’re not part of any international student exchange program, you must manually send your admission applications to the shortlisted high schools. While the requirements vary depending on the high school, you’ll need to submit the following regardless of the high school you’re applying to:
- Application essay
Your application essay is an important part of your application. Here, you must explain why you wish to study in the USA after 10th grade, your future goals and why you’re the best fit for your chosen high school.
- Proof of finances
When applying to high schools, you must prove that you have the financial means to support your studies through your senior year. So, you’ll need to attach photocopies of your bank statement.
- Academic transcripts
You’ll need to submit academic transcripts of the subjects you’ve covered in the past 2-3 years of your studies. Many schools also require your 10th board exam results.
- English language proficiency test scores
When English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to submit your English language proficiency test scores along with your application. The most popular tests are the TOEFL and the IELTS. However, many schools accept the PTE Academic and the Duolingo English Test.
- Letters of recommendation
Many high schools in the USA require recommendation letters from school directors, principals, or subject teachers. So make sure to gather the relevant documents before filling out the application form.
- Copy of passport
The final document you need is a copy of your passport. It must be valid for the duration of your studies. Otherwise, your application will be rejected.
Some schools might ask you to appear for interview rounds as well. Once you receive your acceptance letter, you can apply for your student visa.
What Visa Do You Require to Study in the USA?
International students can apply for an F-1 visa or the J-1 visa to study in the USA. The J-1 visa applies to student exchange programs sponsored by the US Department of State. Meanwhile, those planning to apply to high schools, colleges or universities for long-term study programs must apply for the F-1 student visa. First, you must obtain Form I-20 from a SEVP-approved school. Then, after registering in SEVIS, you can apply for the F-1 or J-1 visa at the USA Embassy or Consulate.
Amongst the documents required for your visa application, a Visa SOP is mandatory for issuing student visas in the USA. While there are templates online, it’s best to hire online SOP writing services since it’s a hassle to apply for a visa again if your application is rejected.
Summing it up,
Thousands of international students send in applications to study in the USA after 10th grade every year. In addition to getting excellent education from these institutes, you get accustomed to the foreign lifestyle and experience the true American high school. Furthermore, securing admission to top colleges and universities in the USA becomes easier when you complete your senior year there.