Alberta has one of the world’s best education systems, providing students with all the tools they need to achieve their full potential. Investment in schools, universities, colleges and technical institutes are increasing, keeping Alberta education affordable and of the highest quality.

The Alberta education system

By law, children living in Alberta must attend school from ages six to 16. Public education is provided free of charge for children and young people under 20 years of age, up to the end of secondary school. For those who wish to continue their education after Grade 12, the Government of Alberta offers financial assistance programs to students who need help to pay for their classes. More information on Alberta’s levels of education follows.

  • Kindergarten is an educational program for children who are under six years of age as of September 1. Most children enter Kindergarten one year before starting Grade 1. Parents decide if their children will attend.  
  • Children start elementary school in Grade 1 at about age six. Some school boards allow children to register at five and a half years of age. Elementary school usually ends after Grade 6.
  • Junior high school starts at Grade 7 and ends after Grade 9. Most students in junior high school are between the ages of 11 and 15 years. 
  • Senior high school students are usually between the ages of 16 and 18 years. Senior high school starts at Grade 10 and ends after Grade 12. After completing the required high school courses, students must pass a series of examinations that include provincially set examinations to qualify for an Alberta High School Diploma. Students are expected to find out which courses are required to enter the post-secondary institutions they wish to attend and to select their high school courses accordingly.
  • Post-secondary education level covers education at a recognized College, University or Technical Institute, as well as adult education programs in the years after high school graduation. Those living in Alberta can choose whether or not they want this level of education.

For more information visit Education in Alberta