Is there any difference between 'elementary school students' and 'elementary students'?

I am writing an essay for my graduate application.

  • I don't think it's because you clicked some buttons. I think he might have deleted his comments, but I don't get why. Or maybe they were offensive or off-topic and deleted by a moderator. Dec 29, 2015 at 14:06
  • @user2738748 - Just for the record, the comments were deleted by the person who originally posted them.
    – J.R.
    Dec 29, 2015 at 17:27
  • @Iris Gao What difference(s) are you looking for? Because I believe basically elementary school students and elementary students mean the same. If the school values more brevity, pick elementary students. However, if the school values more clarity, pick elementary school students.
    – Flonne
    Dec 20, 2018 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


School and student labels vary from country to country. In the U.S., though, these terms are typically used:

  • Elementary school
  • Middle school
  • Jr. High school
  • High school

The boundaries are fuzzy, though, and vary from school district to school district. I've seen school districts like this:

  • Elementary school (K-3)
  • Middle school (4-6)
  • Jr. High school (7-8)
  • High school (9-12)

I've also seen districts that were structured like this:

  • Elementary school (K-5)
  • Middle school (6-8)
  • High school (9-12)

In general, though, elementary school will start in kindergarten or first grade, and continue until at least through Grade 3, and no longer than Grade 6.

That all said, the students in elementary school are called elementary school students. In educational parlance, however, this is often shortened to elementary students. For example, there is a website here that says:

Share your love of math with elementary students. Become an Academic Mentor!
Our program, Math Rules!, targets elementary students who are struggling with math. Volunteers work with two to four students during their class time under the direction of the teacher.

The publication National Geographic has a website that helps define:

Map Skills for Elementary Students
Spatial Thinking in Grades preK-6

Sometimes, though, the word "school" is left in. For example, one book says:

When elementary school students compare whole numbers, they eventually realize that the whole number with the most digits is automatically larger.

This is just a long way of saying that you can use either one; both are in widespread use. If brevity is valued in your application, shorten it to elementary students. Otherwise, use whichever one reads better.

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