Do you capitalize grade levels in school?

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The capitalization rules for different grade levels and school types can be confusing. Sometimes they are capitalized depending on the situation so it is important to understand when to capitalize them or not.

Do you capitalize the grade levels in school?

Grade levels in school are generally capitalized if the word “grade” precedes the ordinal number of the grade such as in “Grade 8.” This is also the case when a grade level is used in a title or headline since most words are capitalized.

However, grade levels are lowercased when the word “grade” follows the ordinal number such as in “sixth grade.” This is also true when using compound adjectives such as “seventh-grade textbook.”

Examples of Correct Usage:

  • I’m in Grade 8.
  • My parents let me skip first grade.
  • I usually hang out with seventh-grade students.
  • I’m in the seventh grade.

What about freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior?

The grade levels in high school and college follow the same rules as the lower class levels. The words freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior should not be capitalized unless used in a title or referring to the names of organized entities, such as “Junior Class.”

 

Do you capitalize the levels of school?

Capitalization rules for the various levels of school can be confusing. In general, you only capitalize the words if they are part of a proper noun referring to a specific school or the words are in a title. Please refer to the specific examples below for various school levels.

Should elementary school be capitalized?

The phrase “elementary school” should not be capitalized when used in a sentence unless you are referring to a specific elementary school such as “Timberlane Elementary School.” You should also capitalize “elementary school” when used in a headline or title.

Examples of Correct Usage:

  • I attend elementary school.
  • He attends Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

Should middle school be capitalized?

The phrase “middle school” should not be capitalized when used in a sentence unless you are referring to a specific middle school such as “Longfellow Middle School.” You should also capitalize “middle school” when used in a headline or title.

Examples of Correct Usage:

  • I attend middle school.
  • He attends James Madison Middle School.

Should high school be capitalized?

The phrase “high school” should not be capitalized when used in a sentence unless you are referring to a specific high school such as “Langley High School.” You should also capitalize “high school” when used in a headline or title.

Examples of Correct Usage:

  • I attend high school.
  • He attends McLean High School.

Should college be capitalized?

The phrase “college” should not be capitalized when used in a sentence unless you are referring to a specific college such as “Harvard College.” You should also capitalize “college” when used in a headline or title.

Examples of Correct Usage:

  • I attend college.
  • He attends Dartmouth College.

 

For more title capitalization questions, use our free title capitalization tool here.

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