Education in New York City

School system in New York City

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Typical American public elementary schools consist of children aged 6-12 and have Kindergarten (similar to pre-school) to 6th grade. From here they usually attend a middle school of 7th and 8th grade, than finish schooling at a High School from 9th to 12th grade. There are variations of this format found throughout the nation, but most follow this layout. School is usually in session from September till June.

Public schools are supported by the taxpayers and budget and education officials are determined by public voting. To register elementary or middle school children, register at your child's zoned school. Your zoned school is determined by your home address. If you don't know your zoned school, call 311 or visit the Department of Education Web site. If you don't have a zoned school, please visit a Student Registration Center in your borough of residence. For high school students, register at a Student Registration Center in your borough of residence. The NYC Department of education website,, discusses the work of Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Klein who have launched Children First, a new vision for New York City public schools. There are about 1,400 public schools in New York City and 1.1 million school children.

Private School

There are many excellent private schools in the New York area. New York State is unusual in that 20% of students here do not attend public schools. Private schools funds are achieved through student paid tuition, with chances for scholarship for worthy students. Many schools are religiously affiliated and are completely separate from the state. Tuition is usually very expensive, averaging between $8,000 and $16,000. The New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) is a non-profit organization offering services to administrators, teachers, trustees, and parents involved in private schools from pre-K through 12th grade. Visit NYSAIS online. Some of the best private schools are: The Brearley School, Collegiate School, Trinity School, and the Spence School.

Here are a few lists of other notable private schools:,, and offers ratings for public, private, and everything in between. Log on and compare schools to find your child's perfect match.


Universities are quite expensive with prices rising every year. Public university can cost around $6,000 to $10,000 in tuition alone with housing, books, and other academic necessities costing much more. Private university is much more expensive with tuition costing somewhere between $20,000 and even up to $50,000 annually. The academic school year usually runs from September to June with an optional summer quarter which is another expense. Scholarships and financial aid help students attend the university of their choice, but most students must take out loans to complete their education.

Not only do students need money to get into their dream school, they need to have high enough scores on national tests like the SAT or ACT, achieve at least the minimum GPA at their high school, and apply themselves to extra circular activities like sports and social clubs. Extras, like being the descendent of an alumni can also reflect positively in an applicant's favor. The better the college, the more difficult it is to be accepted. "Ivy League" schools like Harvard, Brown, Cornell, Princeton, Yale, and many others outside of these old names have an excellent reputation and must keep standards high to retain their prestige.

Columbia University and New York University are two of the best known of the New York City universities. However, there are many other exemplary schools. Cornell University in Ithaca, NY is quite prestigious. Syracuse University offers a wide range of programs. The State University of New York is another wonderful option for New York. If you are interested in something different, offers extensive lists of universities, colleges, and trade schools in the New York area.

Libraries and Research Centers

The New York Library consists of 86 libraries in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island is among one of the best in the world in terms of its collection and services. It is special in being historically a privately managed, nonprofit corporation with a public mission, operating with both private and public financing in a century-old evolving private-public partnership. The library presents a plethora of events on a daily basis from children's book readings to Job Fairs.

Besides the physical building and books, the library features a wealth of information available on-line. Membership is free as is borrowing materials after obtaining a library card. There are many different branches and hours are different from library to library, but can be checked on-line To find which library is closest, consult the library map.

The New York Library also encompasses four world-acclaimed research libraries. The materials at these sites cannot be checked out, but is available during open hours. The Digital Library is a continually expanding collection of digitized images and text selected from throughout the Research Libraries' collections and is always available on-line.

Update 2/01/2009


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