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Is “High School” Ever Capitalized? When to Capitalize It

Is “High School” Ever Capitalized? When to Capitalize It

If the question “should you capitalize high school” was to stand between you and winning a coveted prize, would you win? Not knowing the answer to the question might seem embarrassing, but the truth is that capitalization rules can be complex. So, is high school capitalized?

You need to consider many factors before determining whether to capitalize “high school.” For instance, capitalize the word when used in a headline or a title. Capitalization is also vital when using the phrase at the beginning of a sentence or referring to a specific institution.

Reading about when to capitalize “high school” might seem like a straightforward statement to understand. But given the complex nature of the English language, you might still end up struggling when capitalizing the phrase. That is why this article will get in-depth about when to capitalize “high school.” Read on so you can understand when the capitalization of this word phrase is essential and the reason behind each “high school” capitalization rule.

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Rules for Capitalizing “High School”

Various rules of the English Language explain each capitalization situation. Capitalize high school when in headlines, titles, at the start of sentences, and when naming institutions.

But, if you do not take the time to understand each rule, you might get confused in your writing. Generally, “high school” is not a noun, and capitalization is not always required. But first, let’s get into details. Here are four times when you should capitalize the word “high school.”

When Used In a Headline

Are you writing a headline with the word “high school” on it? If that is the case, embrace capitalization. A headline is written on top of an article, magazine, or newspaper. The purpose of a headline is to entice people to read the rest of the information, update, or story.

But, if your writing does not have proper capitalization in place, readers might lose interest in what you have to say. Even when the title you have is catchy, miswriting a word like “high school” might lead to you losing credibility.

The worst case is if you are presenting a study or research. When your professors see a careless error like using the wrong capitalization to write the word “high school,” they might negatively engage your work. Writing headlines might not seem important, but it is vital to get it right all the time.

Example sentences:

  • Should High School Mandate Coronavirus Vaccines
  • Learn Why You Need to Build Your Resilience for High School
  • Research on How to Handle Bullying in High School

When Used In Titles

Another time you might have a hard time determining if to capitalize “high school” is when using it in titles. But “high school” is a noun, and when writing it in a sentence, it is vital to use the same rules you would when writing any other noun. Note that nouns are capitalized in titles, and this rule does not change regardless of your writing style.

Some people feel obliged to capitalize the entire word phrase to be “HIGH SCHOOL.” That is not the correct capitalization. Capitalization, in this case, means writing the first letter in uppercase.

Example sentences:

  • Have you watched the movie High School Musical?
  • I found a book titled 10 Ways to Pass Your High School Exams.
  • I did not want to go to college, but my counselor and teacher gave me a book titled What Next After High School, which made me reconsider.

At The Beginning of Sentences

When writing the word “high school,” you might find it at the beginning of a sentence. If that is the case, and you are uncertain how to write it, the rule of the thumb to remember is that you must capitalize each time you start a sentence.

Similar: Are School Subjects Capitalized?

Capitalizing the first word that comes in a sentence is one of the rules that do not change. And the rule aims to show the readers that you are introducing a new idea. Failing to capitalize on new sentences makes it hard to connect your ideas. But in the case of “high school,” you only capitalize the “h” and not the “s” since “h” is the first letter in the phrase.

Example sentences:

  • High school is an important stepping stone to your career.
  • High school is not a place to joke and play.
  • High school memories last forever.

When Referring To an Institution

Another critical time to capitalize “high school” is when you refer to a specific institution. Each time you write “high school” in an institution name, you must use capital letters.

Also, writing “high school” in institutions changes the phrase to a proper noun since it is linked to a school. According to the grammar rules, it is necessary to capitalize all proper nouns.

Example sentences:

  • The South Carolina High School has the reputation of being the best school.
  • If you are searching for an institution that uses STEM-focus learning, consider Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology.
  • She attended Townsend Harris High School.

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Exceptions for Capitalizing “High School”

Do not capitalize the word “high school” when you use it in the usual sentence. The only time to capitalize the word is when adhering to the abovementioned regulation. Otherwise, other times, write the word in lowercase.

Example sentences:

  • I never attended high school.
  • The last time I saw them was in high school.
  • We were good friends when we were in high school.

Do You Capitalize High School When Talking About Achievements?

When writing “high school,” another common dilemma is if to capitalize this word when linked to academic honors. The answer is you should not capitalize “high school” just because it is connected to educational programs or honors.

Example sentences:

  • I graduated with a high school diploma with good grades.
  • I am yet to get my high school diploma.
  • The minimum requirement for the job is a high school diploma.

More Alternative Rules When Capitalizing “High School”

Most people assume that writing “high school” should capitalize when linked to a subject. But according to the English rules, that is not the correct way to write the topic. You should not capitalize “high school” just because it is part of a sentence that has a topic.

Example sentences:

  • In high school, she was good at history and math.
  • Did you take German in high school?
  • It is strange how many students struggle with English in high school.

Example Sentences with Correct Capitalization of “High School”

When most people hear the phrase “high school,” they think of secondary education for teenagers and diploma courses. But there’s more to that, especially on capitalizing the word in different contexts. These ten sentences should help you learn.

  1. Each time I remember the level of bullying in our high school, I shiver with fear.
  2. High school was the only time in my life that I knew what I wanted.
  3. He was a part of the high school hockey team.
  4. Who destroyed the list of graduates from Riverdale High School?
  5. My research was on the Pros and Cons of Attending High School.
  6. The charity raises funds for families having a hard time taking their kids to high school.
  7. The expectation is that each high school will arrive on time during the competitions.
  8. She is the principal of Shepherds High School.
  9. It is now possible to get your high school diploma online.
  10. Our high school produces the best students in the district.


“High school” is a common phrase in most written and spoken arenas. However, capitalizing the word might be a challenge. It is common to see a mistake when someone capitalizes the phrase. But if you want to avoid mistakes, keep in mind the rules we’ve discussed in this article.